Birthdays are always an exciting time. We all have our various ways of celebrating and almost always there is a thoughtful card or gift given. I have always loved my birthday, but after having children birthdays took on an even more exciting feel. When you have children your birthday becomes better as tiny hands create cards from the purest of hearts. I love how they tend to get wildly excited for your birthday. Most little ones will be sidled up next to you to "help" blow out candles and open gifts. Celebrating my birthday with Ryan was always magic. The first time he sort of grasped the idea I celebrated by taking him to the zoo. It was sort of like my Mother's Right Of Passage. Gone where the days of grabbing drinks with girlfriends and dancing till our shoes came off. Enter birthday bashes while strolling the zoo with my chunky toddler and sharing my love of birthday cake with him. Honestly, the later is way better. There is something about turning a year older as you look into your child's eyes. It gives you a glimpse into what life is all about. One year older, one year wiser, one year more for adventure together.
Last year I turned 30 and tried to incorporate Ryan into my celebrating as best I could. I even had Olaf cookies made to serve at my party. Hoping that those would make him happy as he looked down at all of us together. My closest friends gathered around me and lifted me so high that night. As I blew out my candles I remember wishing for the chance to be a mother again. I remember craving the feeling of physically being needed by my child. Exactly a year ago I sent a wish, or prayer rather, up to Heaven asking for Ryan's sibling. As I write these words I have Ryan's little sister wrapped up next to me. It is incredible to see how far I've come in just one year. God is good and his plan should always be trusted. Even if at times things seem to crumble and go wrong. There is promise of light after the dark. I have to remind myself of this daily.
Here I am, 31 years old. In efforts to incorporate Ryan into my birthday this year I decided if he were physically here with us we'd most likely end up at Disneyland. So he could run around with Dan as I nursed Mila in different sections of the park. We did just that actually. Ryan was warm within us as we walked around. The entire day I felt emotional. I kept looking back at my time spent with Ryan walking down Main Street and pushing his stroller through the always crowded Tomorrowland. I also remembered the past few times we celebrated Ryan with out him at Disneyland. How painful it was to be there with out his chubby hand directing me where to go next. And now, being able to look down at Mila in the very places her big brother enjoyed before her. It is a surreal feeling to actually see how great God is. I feel overwhelmed with gratefulness that He chose me for this life.
I know most people will say "She is a baby. She doesn't know where she is!". Someone so kindly pointed out on Instagram that we wasted our money taking our baby to Disneyland. Thank you to that kind soul who felt the need to say that. (Insert me rolling my eyes) Honestly you guys I believe in greater things. Mila may not have expressed her excitement for Mickey, but she was indeed happy. And no one will EVER know how it felt to be there again with a child of mine. Wearing my girl while waiting in line, dreaming of when she can walk and I'll hold her hand as we wait. Little things like pushing a stroller again . . THAT felt beautiful. Since the day Ryan was born I've been a mother. Since the day Mila was born I've been a mother reborn and the feeling is unexplainable. Being able to celebrate my birthday with both my children this year was the best gift I'd ever received. I can't thank God enough.