We had a little get-together for Afton's 2nd birthday tonight. Man, that kid is just CUTE. Sorry, but she really is. I'm trying to be un-biased here. I know every mom thinks their kid is really cute. BUT MINE REALLY IS! What I loved is how she "got" it. She opened her presents, grinned when we sang to her, blew out the candles, even tried to "read" a card she got. She was just in her element. And she'd been ornery right before everyone got there. Soon as she realized this was HER day and everyone was there for HER, she just totally ate it up.
Trevor made her this cake.
I thought he did a pretty freakin' awesome job. He's never really made a cake before, but he's so detail-oriented, this kind of thing was right up his alley. I mean, how hard can it be after making a batmobile ? And what about this shield he made for my nephew for Halloween, which, unbelievably, I never blogged about? Needless to say, a little old cake wasn't going to phase him. I guarantee you if I made it, it never would haved looked near this cool.
And I loved how she seemed so grateful and excited about each of her presents. Even cards were appreciated. She LOVES her new doll, and is currently sleeping with it in her little bed, with this darling rabbit pillow and blanket, so soft, that her Aunt Andrea got her. She got a tricycle from my parents, and will be getting a table and chairs next week from them, too. She loved her magna-doodle, her new little board books and puzzles. And oh, she LOVES the slide we got her. I'm thinking, maybe this kid will finally play with TOYS instead of my TUPPERWARE. Maybe she'll play by herself. What a concept.
Anyway, I posted some video of her on Facebook, but it's been a long time since I put a video on my blog, and I can't access FB at work, so it's nice to have it here so I can show her off! My students love to see videos! (ok, I don't show it to ALL of them, just the fawning 9th grade girls that ask...)
I was talking to my mom the other day, and she was talking about a girl she knew in high school. "She's one of those people," Mom said, "whose best years were in high school." There are a lot of people like that, I suppose. It kind of throws me, because although my high school years weren't horrible, they most certainly weren't my best. It's kind of payback for us "normal" people, I guess, to see those popular kids from high school flounder when the glory is gone and they have to stand on their own two feet. But then I asked myself, "When were my best years?" And I realized--RIGHT NOW! I said as much to my mother, who also agreed that she was now in her best years.
And then it hit me--isn't that the whole secret to being happy? That no matter where you are in life, you are currently in your best years? I look back at my life, and although there are some dark spots I'd never relive, much of my life WAS my best years at the time. College was a revelation and I loved it. My mission was hard but was a beautiful experience. Being single--well that sucked. No question. But still--I wasn't miserable. I grew and learned a lot during that time, and wouldn't trade it. How glad I am that I had a chance to get to know myself and try new things and travel before I married, so I knew I hadn't missed anything.
And now I'm a young mom and soon will be busier than I've ever imagined in my life. But I'm most assuredly in my best years. When your little girl suddenly stops playing, climbs up on your lap, gives you a kiss and says, "Iluhyou!" THAT is your best years. When you watch your little twins moving around on the screen, healthy and strong--THAT is your best years. When you snuggle into bed next to the man you love more than anything, who actually, miraculously, loves you back, THAT is your best years. But then life moves on and changes. When my last child is off to Kindergarten, won't that be my best year? When I see them all off to college and Trevor and I are on our own to do whatever we please--won't THAT be our best year?
I think the secret is being happy with wherever you are, with whatever you have, and not allowing yourself to dwell too much on what you DON'T have. I caught myself thinking the other day, "Man, I'm so tired of having NOTHING." I was thinking of all the repairs and upgrades I wanted to do on my house, and how there was no way I'd ever be able to afford it for years and years. And then I just laughed at myself. I have NOTHING? Really? With my husband, my babies, and my home? I have everything. Everything that really matters.
I hope this post doesn't sound too braggy. I have my problems same as anyone. But I think we can all be so grateful with the lot we have in life. Have the courage to change what we can, accept what we can't, and just be happy with what we've got. I need to re-read this post next time I feel depressed about the looming responsibilities I am about to take on when the twins arrive--and I DO feel depressed about that, and the fact that it will be years before Trevor is through with school and we have financial security. And that I will probably always be a working mom and never stay home with my children. And that I'm kinda fat. (One thing I love about pregnancy is a 9-month hiatus from feeling guilty about being fat!) Life is good. I'm a happy woman. And I hope I always will be, no matter what happens.