Today I turn 39 and I woke up in tears. Tears that have been staying in since Thursday night when we were once again in the ER with Ryan, a kid that has had an IV more times than his Dad and I combined. Turns out, he’s OK. But he gives us a run for our money every time. Because he is OK and my job is to make sure he knows and feels that, I didn’t let myself feel it. So this morning, I turned 39 and I climbed into bed next to him and I let myself cry. One part release that I hadn’t given myself at 2 am Thursday night. And one part realization that I may not make it to 40. Because if my heart gets any more full, it’ll burst.
Gratitude is a word I hear a lot. Yoga teachers love it. And that’s not a knock on them. We should be reminded of it regularly. But sometimes when you hear something a lot, it loses its impact. This morning, I’m feeling it in a way I’m not sure I have before. I’m grateful that Ryan is healthy. So so grateful. But I’m equally as grateful that Casey is the most resilient child I know. She rolls with everything without fear. And with poise and grace. She got carted off to Aunt Meg and Uncle John’s at 10 pm Thursday and thought having a sleepover on a school night was better than Christmas morning. And I’m grateful for the many people in our lives we are lucky to have come to call family. They are the people who are taking care of things before you can even complete the ask. They know what you need before you do and they’re on it. Many of them stayed awake on Thursday night so that we weren’t alone, even if they weren’t physically with us.
And again, he’s ok. So all of that aside. I don’t think I could want for anything more on my 39th. We have managed to create a life that has our children having many parents, not just two. And has me having the sisters I never had. The women who walk alongside me, cheer me on, hold me up, if necessary, and ensure I celebrate it all. And I say “we” have created this life because I can’t remember a time when it was just mine. Henny is my complement. My person. And the only person who may appreciate the kind of man he is more than I do is Casey. She adores her Daddy in a way I could have only hoped and prayed. He shows her how a girl should be treated. And he shows her how to make a mean jump shot. Two essentials in life.
We’re also two of those lucky people who get to say we love what we do for work. I’m beyond grateful that Casey and Ryan will know loving your career is possible. As long as you work for it. We’re approaching the one year mark on our forever home and it was the best decision we’ve made to date. We have parents who are proud of us and still guiding us no matter how old we get and a brother and sister-in-law who are probably always going to be the first people we’d choose to spend time with. We have friends who have become family and children who are healthy and laugh more than they cry. So like I said, I may not make it to 40. My heart won’t be able to take it.