Welcome to my life...Life with Cheryl.
It's all about joy, laughter, family, and love, and the adventure of it all!
(And, guess what? I'm writing it all down!)
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Surprise BirthdaysJust yesterday, Sydney and I were at the local post office buying a stamp to affix to an invitation for her party this coming weekend. (Yes, the party's on Sunday,and I was doing this on Wednesday. Good thing that people expect things like that from me!) When the lady behind the counter handed me a stamp that said "Celebrate!" with a bunch of birthday candles on it, I exclaimed to Sydney that it was perfect to put on her envelope. This led to a conversation, of course, between Sydney and the postal worker. (Because Sydney has in-depth conversations with people everywhere she goes.) Sydney: "It's perfect because it's for an invitation to my birthday party." P.O. Worker: "It is?" S: "Yep, because tomorrow is my birthday and I'm turning 7. And today is my sister's birthday. Hers is March 30th, and mine is March 31st." Worker: "How old is your sister?" S: "She's 19 today." Worker: "Wow," (and she sorta looked up at me and laughed a little bit under her breath), "Your sister was born, and then a lot of years later you came along." S: "Yeah. She's in college and I'm just in first grade. She's my big sister." I laughed back with the lady and had a nice conversation with her in which I said things like, "Yeah, she was a bit of a surprise," and "It's different having a child when you're really young, like I did with my first child," and "Sydney keeps us young, that's for sure." And it all sorta made me think a little bit. About plans. About surprises. About how things that you don't expect become, surprisingly, some of the best things in your life. McKenna and Sydney were both surprises (Delaney was the only child who came along when we were really wanting her to). I wouldn't have planned either one of them, really. With McKenna, I was only recently out of college and only two years into my first marriage. I had never even really thought about being a Mom (I wasn't the sort of child to play with baby dolls; books and Barbies were more my style), and the concept was one of those "some day I might do it" sort of things. When I became pregnant, I of course became excited very quickly. But, at 23 (23!!), I certainly didn't know what to expect; I was terrified of childbirth, and bringing a child into this world, and random things like peas-up-the-nose and saving-for-college. As things often go, though, things moved right along and I learned that the old adage is true, "You just do what comes naturally." Fast forward 12 years and our little family was in pretty good shape. McKenna was verging on her teenage years and Delaney was a smart and sassy 8-year-old. Looking back, I would have probably had a third child a year or two after Delaney was born; but, for whatever reason, we always thought two kids were just right. We soon learned, however, that three is a lot better. I'll never forget the morning I finally admitted to Gary that I sure had been feeling sick to my stomach lately, and maybe I should go get a pregnancy test. He was surprised, but I could tell immediately that the possibility of being a Poppy all over again made him excited (he has always loved babies!; in fact, whenever someone at church hands him a newborn, I just shake my head vigorously and remind him that, at our age, we would be pushing her around on top of our walker). Becoming a Mom again at 35 (and Gary at almost 39) changed my life both in every way possible (another family member! a family of 5!)...and also in just a lot of naturally easy ways (we always called Sydney our "go baby" because we'd just pack her up and she'd go with us wherever we had to go with the other girls' activities). Sure, we had to deal with the concept that we'd have an "only" child once Delaney was off to college (in just three and a half years) and that we would be much older parents than most. But, just as it happened with McKenna, it all just came back naturally and we realized that another child just increased our capacity for love and joy in exponential ways. And also that youth is wasted on the young; you are as young as you think; and she, indeed, keeps us young! Life can certainly throw you some curveballs. There are days when you truly know what's going to happen and, when you lay your head down at the pillow at night, you wonder how in the world your life changed so much so quickly. I've learned that those curveballs, those unexpected things, those surprises...even the tragedies and the unexpected heartaches...can develop into something incredibly beautiful. If you expect life to go according to a particular plan, you better be ready for a rude awakening. If you realize it won't go according to plan and then plan accordingly, you will certainly find that the detour you're being taken on can develop into some amazing experiences. And that you'll be blessed with the most amazing baby, and two-year-old, and seven-year-old (today!), and nineteen-year-old (yesterday!), and family. ----------------------------------------------- [Here I am with McKenna. Look at how young we both look... And my sweet Sydney... And McKenna loving on her new baby sister...