My First Birthday

I am quite certain that Scotch and soda and a Dilly bar for dinner are a sign that blogging tonight is a serious mistake. But, I have it heavy on my chest so I have to say it.

Tomorrow is my 47th birthday. In many ways I feel 33. In many ways I feel 97. I want to take on every single broken thing and fix it with my own bare hands. And yet, some mornings, I require a pep talk to put both shoes on.

This year though, it is not about my bad hip, my throbbing-perpetually-sleep-deprived brain, or my 5 apps to help me track my lists. This birthday is a first.

This will be my first birthday in 18 year that my three kids won’t be with me. And, I am not handling it well (see above regarding Scotch and ice cream dinner.)

I am sad.

I feel….heavy and honestly I wish I could blink tomorrow away. Maisy will text me or maybe call or even Face-time. But, she won’t be HERE. She won’t be slamming through the door yelling for me to look away so she could scramble to her room and wrap my gift. There won’t be a hand made card from her. And our table will be missing one.

Stop it. I know she has not died. I know she is happy. I know it is right and normal for her to be off doing whatever amazing things college kids do on a Monday night. But who the hell needs to read a blog about rainbows and unicorns and the normalcy of your first birthday in nearly two decades without your oldest child??

Not. Me.

Two things are torturing me tonight. First, is the undeniable truth of my birthdays NEVER again being the same. Second, is the undeniable reminder of the 18 years I spent working, taking that one last call, finishing that one last chart, or making excuses about missing just ONE little field trip.

Yes. I feel mentally too young to be 47. And physically to old to be 47. I feel pride for having an amazing, tenacious, world-changer for a daughter. But, I also feel sadness, and a whole lot of ….regret.

Hey, mommas! Yes, you. The one looking at the clock thinking “Oh. Thank God. It feels like 11:30 to these kids so they are going to be OUT in a hot minute and I can collapse on the couch!” Or, you. The one who is trying to skip over words in the bedtime story. Or, you. The one who needs to do ONE more load of laundry before you sit down to do that puzzle. STOP. IT. Just STOP IT. Stop saying “no” to them. Stop wishing the “hard” times away

Trust me. Look down at that little face–even if it is tear-streaked or screaming or flushed with rage. Realize that there will soon–very soon– come a moment when you won’t be looking down at that face. Instead, you will look up, you will blink, and that beautiful face will be gone.


  1. James J.Holstein,M.D. says:

    I remember as each of our seven children left for college, I had the same sense of loss and anxiety. It made no difference the distance or the order. In a selfish sense, I thought i was losing a part of my life that could never be replaced. Fortunately,my wife was more insightful. As each one left her response was a simple statement ; ” Roots and wings”. We had spent eighteen years giving them roots- a sense of values,priorities and a family that would always love and support them, now the time had come for them to fly.

    Sometimes the flights were misdirected or short lived, but eventually they soared. Each is now an adult with families, careers and responsibilities. It is ironic that as our children grow, we can grow as well. Learning that giving up the daily person to person contact allows the realization that your child has grown and that you are truly blessed to see them become the person they were meant to be.

    Enjoy the ride and realize that despite the distance or the challenge, at the end of the day
    you are still Mom and she knows that.

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