Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Old and The Young

"This is the hand you used to hold, when I was only 5 years old."

As of today, I have been a mother for 5 years. It seems like only yesterday a lively, kicking baby was growing inside me, he came 3 weeks too early and forever changed my life. Blessed with two beautiful, healthy boys, hand in hand, I show them the way to be kind, to share, to listen, to learn.

I remember when I was 5 years old in preschool, we all stood in a line and waited our turn to step up on the chair while the teacher pressed our little hands into a plaster mold. A cherished memory, my mother saved this piece of artwork for 37 years and now my sweet, snuggly, loving baby is a strong, smart, independent boy. It only took 5 minutes to blow out 5 candles, make 5 wishes and open one too many presents. The Polar Express themed party complete with songs, tickets, trains and snowdrift cupcakes celebrated his love of engines and all things that move.

Conversations from our birthday brunch ranged from christmas time get togethers, plans for the New Year, to the future of our parents retirement and our own life stresses. Work balance, child care, life insurance applications, bills to pay, stocks, bonds, college savings, and a home that needs major renovation. Our parents discussed healthcare, politics, will and estate planning, social security and various medical problems. I think the heavy topics are shared to make them easier to deal with, going it together instead of alone. Birthdays are a reminder that we all get older, there is a time limit on this earth. As the cupcakes were eaten, crumpled wrapping paper went flying, coffee almost spilled, new toys were opened and played with, slowly the true gift was unveiled. From the old to the young, three generations in one room connected by love, moments of life that form who we were, who we are, and who we will become. The beautiful words of Katrina Kenison solidify my feelings of living presently and sending out hope for our future. "Let's inhabit our own lives as generously and joyously as we can for as long as we can."

My youngest son turned 2 at the beginning of January, his sweet Winnie-the-Pooh birthday reflected his dynamic nature, ending with a wild dance party in our living room with our neighborhood friends. We are lucky, we live in a warm, welcoming, safe community, surrounded by couples who have children the same age as ours. As many parents know, winter birthdays can be tricky, party planning after the holidays isn't easy, cold and unpredictable weather inhibits outdoor fun, expensive adventure and creative parties are available, but I prefer to keep it simple. Honoring the actual birthdate and possibly the hour of arrival, blowing out the same number of candles as your new age and enjoying the same number of wishes, sweet cakes homemade with love, and spending time with friends and family. If it rains or snows we go with the flow, stay in the moment, smile and take in the beauty of life and all it has to offer.