I have a birthday quickly approaching in a little over 2 weeks. It’s not a momentous or milestone birthday, I’ll be 46. And for the record I’m okay with that. I say that now. I don’t know how I’ll feel staring at the big 5-0. I don’t feel 46 years old, although I’m not sure what 46 years old is supposed to feel like. I don’t know what any age is supposed to feel like I can only reflect on what I felt like at certain ages through the years.
Sometimes I’m amused when I’m making dinner thinking of how “adult” I am. Like here I am married, raising kids, running a household; how adult it all is. And when did that happen? Being an “adult”. Legally I know when I turned 18 I was an adult. The only thing I really remember being at 18 is feeling free. I was about to graduate high school, had a great boyfriend, a part time job and I was driving and had my own car. Life was sweet. No “adult” responsibilities in sight. So I can hardly say I personally was an adult at age 18. Nor did I act very adult, IMO anyway.
I think the defining moment in my life was when I was 24. I graduated college as a nurse and finally for the first time had a “real” job, making real money. However I was still living at home. When I did move out I remember feeling so grown up and responsible. Paying for our own wedding and getting married was another grown up step then quickly becoming parents to Thomas with all his issues was a great kick in the old adult pants.
So I guess for me being an adult was a process of steps, I was fortunate that I didn’t have adulthood thrust upon me at an early age. When I look back it was God’s plan for me to take all those steps to finally get to the point where I was prepared to be Thomas’ mother. I was never known to keep my opinion to myself, but advocating for my baby and being bold to respected medical professionals wasn’t something I was well versed in but I had to learn quick and I did.
I look at my oldest daughter about to legally become an adult this summer. Her 18th birthday is shortly after she graduates high school. I know I won’t see her as an adult even though she’s very responsible and like me at that age she is driving her own car, has a great boyfriend and a part time job. I’ll ask her if she feels like an adult. I look forward to her answer.
I have this song running through my head this morning, Blessings by Laura Story. Yesterday my husband and I were talking to a neighbor who also has a special needs daughter. Many of you know about our Thomas who is also special needs. We’ve been through many, many trials with Thomas. And everytime I hear this song I think of him. What if our greatest trial is God’s blessing in disguise?
Anyway, when we were speaking with our neighbor she mentioned that she often wonders what her daughter would have been like had things been different. My husband replied that he often thinks the same thing about Thomas. I do think that also about Thomas. The big “what if?” What if he’d been born “normal”?. What if? It almost makes you loathe the word, “if”. That word can hold so much. Thomas is one of the greatest achings of my life. It still pains me that he cannot live at home. I know my husband feels the same. I love Thomas for who he is now, not what he could have been. Thomas being the way he is changed me as a mother. And if I were to be able to change him to a “normal” person, would I then have to change myself to how I was before he was in my life?
I honestly don’t dwell on the what ifs because it is pointless. I tend to focus on the present and future which can hold enough worry all by themselves. But this song speaks so perfectly to my heart. Especially when she sings, “This is not our home…” No, this is not our home. I often wonder if when I do meet our Lord will I ask Him questions about my earthly life. Thomas being in the forefront of those queries. Why were we chosen to be his parents? Why did God make things so challenging? Why the heartache? Or will I even care at that point? What I do believe is that when Thomas meets the Lord and joins us, I believe he will tell us himself. It will be glorious to hear my son talk clearly and coherently. I was given a glimpse of this in a dream I had a couple of years ago. Thomas was just a typical teen and him, Alyssa and I were just sitting in our front sun porch talking to one another. I have no idea what we were talking about I just remember Thomas being “normal”. I know when we’re all in heaven together we’ll all talk again. God gave me a preview.
After my interview last week the Dr who interviewed me said she would let me know if I got the job “by the beginning of next week” meaning starting today. I’ve checked my email at least a dozen times already and nada. Nothing. I keep telling myself if it is meant to be it will be but I can’t help feeling antsy and just wanting to know already. I’m not a good wait-er.
In other news we went to the San Gennero feast in Little Italy yesterday afternoon. It was nice, crowded like you’d never believe but still nice. We had an incident where our 16yr old said she wanted to look at a jewelry display, so the rest of us waited across the way for her to be finished. Five minutes pass, then 10. After 15 Tommy is getting annoyed and so am I. How long does it take to look at jewelry? We don’t see her at the jewelry stands. Now we’re calling and texting her and not getting any answers. OMG. Now I’m starting to get scared, like sick to your stomach scared. All I could think of was that she was kidnapped. With the amount of people at this feast; we’re talking literally wall to wall (or street to street) anything is possible. Tommy takes off down the street a bit to look for her. Nope. Then he goes down the other way. I’m trying not to panic. Finally he finds her. My goodness I was so, so relieved. I didn’t realize how scared I was until I felt the intense relief of knowing that she was ok. After being elated that she is safe, I got mad at her. Mad for making me a nervous freaking wreck I told her I thought she was kidnapped. Scary shit man. Just when you think they are old enough that you don’t have to worry when you go out, that someone won’t “get lost” what happens? They go and get “lost”.
I’m happy to say the rest of the afternoon went off without incident. We had a nice time in the city and even stopped to visit the 9/11 Memorial. It was incredible and so very moving. To see all those names choked you up. And the Freedom Tower is unreal. It’s beautiful. So tall and looming going straight to the sky.
With yesterday being the last full day of school for Samantha, Alyssa and I decided to take advantage and we headed to Manhattan to thrift shop. The thrift scene around here has dried up with me personally not finding the former awesome finds I’d become accustomed to. Just a bunch of department store clothing. Not thrilling, IMO anyway.
So we took the ferry across to the city and promptly caught the uptown 1 train. On the subway we were then serenaded by 2 older gentlemen, one was a former member of The Drifters we were told. After the singing we transferred to the number 2 express train which got us uptown in no time! Alyssa being a typical 15yr old talked my ear off the whole time. I’m not complaining I enjoyed it, I loved hearing her unfiltered point of view regarding just about everything important in her life. We got off at 96th St. and Broadway to hit the Salvation Army there. Yes we went that far uptown :). I love this store, you seriously never know what you’re going to find. Sometimes you hit it big other times…not so big. Like I’ve walked out of there empty handed with a heavy heart but that’s the thrill of the thrift, the hunt!
This time both Alyssa and I both scored. She found the coolest pair of “genie pants” (think more attractive MC Hammer pants) that are apparently very in style right now. The pants looked brands new and were from TopShop which can be quite spendy in price. Alyssa also found the cutest sundress perfect for summer. But then again she is 15 and what wouldn’t look cute on her? I scored with True Religion denim that fit perfectly (squeal!), a zip around Kate Spade wallet and awesome cotton/linen J Crew pants. I heart J Crew when I score it at the thrift.
After about an hour or so we called it quits to get home early as Alyssa was getting together with friends and I wanted to have lunch before picking up Samantha. We caught the express train downtown and were all set to transfer to the 1 to the ferry terminal when the conductor made an announcement that the service to the ferry via the 1 train was interrupted and gave instructions to catch another train. Alyssa and I exited on Fulton street and oh my goodness we had NO idea where to go which way was the ferry?? After a couple of false starts I spied 2 building security guards on a corner and asked them how to get to the ferry. They were nice enough to give us directions and off we went! I’d say we walked about 10 blocks, far enough IMO.
I’d say our day was a fun thrifting success and more importantly I had a great time with my daughter.
15 years old. That’s how old my daughter is and the majority of the girls in my car were today. It was after a gymnastics meet (My daughter competed in vault) and I was the ride home for Alyssa and her friends. They laughed and talked and laughed, sang to the radio, and talked more. My gosh it brings me back, how can it not? I really enjoyed being with them and for a while I was a bit envious. I had a great “teen-hood” IMO anyway. I was on the gymnastics team, had a sweet boyfiend (now husband) and awesome friends. The majority of my friends were guys, there were a few close girlfriends but the majority were guys. The guys were great, usually drama free or less drama than most typical girls. I could trust my close guy friends with most conversations and just trust them with *me* and they were the best “brothers” I’ll ever have. Don’t get me wrong there was plenty of teen angst I mean really…didn’t we all have angst? I laugh at that now, but it wasn’t all that funny back in the day.
Anyway back to the car ride, I loved listening to them talk. Talk about themselves, making fun of themselves, poking fun at each other, talking about other people; not in a mean way though. It reminded me of how serious everything was back then and how everything could *not* be serious as well. In a weird way they made me want to go back. But only to go back to the fun, not the angst. The fun of being so young with everything ahead of you. Everything. Only you don’t know it. I never thought I’d enjoy being around teens. It seems like forever that your kids are small and you’re in charge of everything. Then you turn around and they’re “going out”. I’m cool with that I really am it’s just odd and fun to see your kids at an age you can really identify with. I can’t imagine what it’s like when they get much older into adulthood. I know those days will come but right now I’m enjoying watching from the outside and getting thrown back into my own memories~but only the good ones.