Sunday, September 9, 2012

Old Toes

I turn 39 this week. One more "she's-thirty-something" year left before I enter a new decade of increased wisdom and confidence. And sure it also comes with decreased muscle mass and skin elasticity - and according to my nine-year-old, "old toes." But still, I think I'll side with my grandmother when she says, "Time of ya life, Molly," in her unmistakable Boston accent.

Besides, I've got the Jennifers of this world to be thankful for - Anniston and Lopez. Beautiful, active, accomplished. Or is it the camera lighting? Or personal chefs and make-up artists? Either way, they make 25-year-olds only wish they were in their 40s.

Though I will say, with total assurance, I do not ever want to be 25 again. At the time, I had a two-year-old and a baby on the way, and was completely surrounded by seemingly perfect moms - here's a week-at-a-glance with their kids:

Monday: Fold towels and linens - correctly folding fitted sheets - while singing-along to "Praise Baby."

Tuesday: Write letters and draw pictures to send to our World Vision child(ren).

Wednesday: Babysitting swap, along with make-ahead-homemade-frozen-dinner swap.

Thursday: Backyard Science Morning: Insect or Arachnid? Fruit or vegetable?

Friday: Find household items that start with the letter "A."

Saturday: Bake "welcome" cookies for our foreign exchange student who arrives in the afternoon.

Sunday: Volunteer in childcare at church - both services.

And those were just morning plans. Afternoons (during nap-time) consisted of painting murals on bedroom walls and steaming peas from the garden to make baby food. And evenings turned into scrapbooking and girls-night-out adventures.

I felt so inadequate. I mean, I might have had two weeks per year like that, but my little ones mostly spent their mornings with my mom or mother-in-law (forever thankful!) while I finished college... or in the gym's childcare while I taught aerobics. Or at home watching Little Bear with a juice "ba ba" on the couch at age two-and-a-half (horrors)... while I sat next to them... talking on the phone... matching together socks before we headed off to the McDonalds' ball pit.

I did, however, make a pretty impressive "cantaloupe boat" when my kids were toddlers, cutting the fruit in such a way that resembled a boat. I would also go to the library and check out 25 books at a time. And once I made a Barbie cake. Oh, and painted a bedroom pink while breast feeding. (Figure that one out.)

Ah, those days are neither here nor there now. I'm 39 and my kids sleep in their own beds, eat salad, and know how to read - and also know how much I love them. But more importantly, they know how much God loves them.

Psalm 139:16-17 says, “…and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, as yet there were none of them. How precious also Your thoughts to me, O God. How great is the sum of them!”

So what's that I said earlier about not having mad skillz as a mother? It's okay. God has only ever had precious thoughts about me; his love covers me in everything I do - now, at the age of 39... and back then, at the age of 25 - old toes and all.

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