Today, I'm 29 years old. Twenty nine. Twizzledy to the nizzledy.
(…that was gangster talk for '29').
Yes, my dear friends, today is my date of birth. Twenty nine years ago today, my mother endured what can only be described as extreme pain to bring me into this world. Frankly, let's face it, birthdays shouldn't be about us. They should be about what our mothers endured to get us here.
As we tend to do on days like this, I found myself reflecting over birthdays past… trying to remember where I was or what I was doing on those celebratory occasions. I could only remember a small handful. I can barely remember what my name is half the time, so I was pleased as punch to at least be able to grab at a few from the memory jar.
9 years ago, on my 20th birthday, I welcomed this monster into my family:
9 years Toby-turd has been with me. He's been my main man through many moves, breakups, and major life changes. Toby is at that stage of dogness where he's like a super dog. He can read my mind. And with the smallest glimpse of eye contact, he can know exactly what I need him to do or where I need him to be. He no longer chews things, gets into the trash, or poops on my floor. He's just the best dog ever. And was, no doubt, one of the best birthday presents ever.
8 years ago, on my 21st birthday, I realized that no matter how bad you think you want it, eating a hot dog from 7-11 at 1:50 a.m. is not a good idea. Ever.
10 years ago, on my 18th birthday, I ate a rare steak for the first time. I then realized that I have a hidden, deep, passion for grilled, rare meat. I also had a confetti egg smashed on my head.
See all this valuable information that you're collecting from my memory jar?
… let's see if we can go further.
23 years ago, on my 6th birthday (aren't you glad I'm here to do the math for you?), I remember my lifelong friend Michaela showing up and falling asleep at my birthday party. It was, like, 3:00 in the afternoon. Michaela stayed asleep for the remainder of the birthday party, slept through the night, and was one of the last to wake up the following morning. She was always a party animal, that one. That's why I always attended Hanson concerts with her. Because she knew how to get down, baybee.
Yes, I've been to Hanson concerts. Yes, that's plural. Concert-s. Not on my birthday though. For years 10-25 of my life, that would've been the best birthday present ever. And truthfully, it probably would still be up there. I have a soft spot in my heart for boy bands and pop music. I can't help myself.
Also, is it terrible that that's all the birthdays I can remember? I've had 29 of them now! … and how many could I remember? Four? Pathetic memory, I tell you.
Truthfully, though, I am thankful for another year. Sure, I'm getting ‘smile lines' on my face. My boobs aren't nearly as perky as they once were. My leg hair now grows in dark and… well, let's just stop with the physical changes there. Point being, I am aging.
And I am okay with that.
Because while I may not remember many birthdays, you know what I do remember?
The day I became Mrs. Elliott.
And the day I became a mother for the first time.
And then the second time.
And then the third time.
I remember the days I've spent in the hospital with loved ones. And I remember the ones that have been lost. I remember the college graduations, the cross-country moves, and the deep conversations with friends.
I remember years upon years of the most incredible, colorful, difficult, joyful, gut-wrenching memories. They've given me these creases on the corners of my eyes and the smile in my heart.
Lord, thank you for blessing me with 29 years of life! It is a joy denied to many. And for it, I am thankful!