To you, whose mind races at all hours at all speeds on all topics,
take a deep breath. You are safe, you are loved, you are home.
To you, who is not the parent she thought she would be,
it’s ok. It’s harder than you thought. And, you’re better than you think.
To you, who laughs out loud because you are writing in your head,
laugh louder. Tape that sound up on your walls and let it paper your house. You are allowed to laugh out loud. You are allowed to seek joy. You are allowed to tell Truths. You are even allowed to tell stories. You’re pretty decent at it, and it helps to quiet all the other noise floating around your life. Write and laugh and write some more.
To you, who is in love with her children who are insane,
God bless you and keep you. They have short memories. Be grateful for their instant forgiveness and their inherent story-telling. Be Jesus- honest and fair and in sandaled-feet. Be the God of second and third and eighty-th chances. Get on the floor… the dirty, sticky floor… and play as long as they’ll let you. The internet will wait. The laundry will wait. And, they’ll be unimpressed by dinner, anyway… so forget about it.
To you, who is a fighter,
remember that most of the them… most of them… are on your side. Unless they are not, in which case, pray… for you and for them.
To you, who is a feeler,
remember that most of them… most of them… cannot read your heart or mind. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Feel anyway. But, give them the benefit of the doubt.
To you, who is an observer, a watcher, a study-er,
take it all in. Most of them… most of them… don’t know what they’re missing.
To you, the girl who is sure the shadows follow her heart,
take a deep breath. Turn on the music. Sit in the tall grass and close your eyes. You are safe, you are loved, you are home.
You are 36 tomorrow. You weigh more than you thought you would and you shower less than most would find acceptable. You own a house, you share a home, you co-lead a family… and there are cows in the pasture. Your hair is not gray. Your bank account is not empty. Your politics are emotional and you can still carry a harmony. You have three healthy children and a killer mac and cheese recipe. You want a donkey, but your husband is still against you. There is time.
You have friends. Deep, lovely, hilarious, God-fearing and questioning and challenging friends.
You have done well.
Here’s to you.