Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kids' Birthdays aren't Just for Kids

Tomorrow is my son’s fifth birthday (that's him doing what he loves best above). As my mother-in-law says, he’ll officially be a whole handful.
I find birthdays and anniversaries to be great times to reflect on personal growth and to check-in with progress on goals I’ve set. Don't worry, there will be cake and singing and silliness, too. And a few tears that only mothers know how to cry when their babies get older.

When I think back over the “whole handful” of years, I’m amazed at all that has happened in our little family (I’m keeping with the “5” theme):

1. We moved all the way across the country from Charlotte, NC to just outside Seattle, WA. If that situation doesn’t provide growth, I don’t know what will!
2. After two serious allergic reactions before his first birthday, our son was diagnosed with a long list of food allergies. As of last week, we’ve been given the green flag to add in larger amounts of eggs & milk into baked food products. This is cause for celebration at our house!
3. Our son became a loving big brother to a spit-fire little sister.
4. We’re now able to enjoy family adventures lasting longer than 6 hours. We’ve managed 2 weekend-long camping trips already this summer. I really never thought this day would come.
5. Our kids speak of their futures using empowering phrases like, “When I’m a runner . . . “ and “I’ll do that, too, because I’m strong!” I can't wait to see what will happen when they make those phrases come true.

Although the birthday is HIS, as the mama who birthed him, the day belongs to ME, too! This gives me the clearance to evaluate my goals in relationship to his life-span.

1. In his short/long (I haven’t decided if the time has been fast or slow!) life I published a book and sold over 1,000 copies of it.
2. Two weekends ago I set a running PR that blows anything from my “pre-kids life” out of the water.
3. I have completed at last a dozen quilts and already have a growing list of quilts to create over the course of his next five years. Only one quilt in his lifetime was for me – the others have all been gifts to celebrate weddings and births.
4. I started a non-profit social moms group in our community 3 years ago and it is still running.
5. My husband and I celebrated our 10 year engagement-iversary last week and our marriage is still going strong.

Now that know I can guide a child through life longer than I’ve held down any single paying job, my challenge begins. I must ask myself:

What are my new goals?
What experiences will I have the pleasure of remembering when the NEXT birthday rolls around?

Don't go yet! I have a challenge for you:

What life events prompt YOU to take a look at where you’ve been on your life path? What experiences lead you to set new goals as you head forward?


Meg Runs said...

You are always so thought provoking and this is such an inspirational piece!! I'm so impressed that you took the time to reflect on everything that you have accomplished now that your son is turning five! Congrats!

My whole life right now is about looking at my path and then setting new goals...with two kids leaving the nest, I (we)can't avoid it!

Thanks for sharing!

Black Knight said...

Interesting and deep post. Happy birthday to your son.

Kelly's runner said...


I lost someone I was very close to in March last year. Kelly had an almost 12 year battle with Leukemia before passing away at the age of 19.

That event really made me take a long hard look at how I was living or not living my life.

I am trying now to choose my life for all that it is and all that it isn't.

Living with intention, living joyfully. It is a constant struggle.

Great question. Thanks for the post.

Tina at Gotta Run Now said...

Happy birthday to your son - a great rock jumper!

Happy 10 year engagement-iversary to you and your husband!

Congrats on your new race PR and for selling 1,000 of your books!

For me, becoming an empty-nester has been a huge change - a time to look back, but mostly a time to look forward.

Here's hoping your next year will hold many happy memories!

cami said...

Lovely post. Happy belated Birthday to you and your son! :)