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I Awake 37

I awake 37.

My eyes open slowly, heavily.  But so alive.  I feel them dance as they immediately take in the beauty of one of my most favorite things.  Fresh sunflowers stare at me from where I placed them 2 days ago, dresser drawer still open from where I quickly grabbed pajamas the night before, dust on the shelves, pictures needing to be hung, room midproject.  But, goodness how they outshine all of that. I gaze at them as the sun fills the room, and my smile illuminates my sleep filled face.  I awake 37, and the smallest beauty fills my world, and my soul knows it is the small beauties that make up a wonderful life.

I awake 37 and immediately feel the 40 pound weight beside me. She is snuggled up from sneaking in my bed in the middle of the night.  She was afraid, and how wonderful that she finds solace in the arms of her mother.  The one who loves her so much more than she can ever know.  I awake 37 and feel her breathe, and it brings me life.  A smile once again reaches my bones. 

I awake 37 and see a pile of laundry sitting in the chair next to my beautiful sunflowers.  It is appallingly high, piled up from being neglected because who has time with 3 children and a job and a house that I am fortunate enough to have the hands to mend and paint?  A house that I bought for them with my own blood, sweat, and tears.  A house that I painstakingly, day by day, turn into a home that they can safely land when this world feels unsafe.  A house that will never be to the standards of some but one that is filled with love and comfort and laughter and music and dancing and singing and crying and every bit of the mess we call us.  A house I am acutely aware many would envy. I awake 37 and feel the weight of the roof above me and the 4 of us under its shingles. What a beautiful gift.

I awake 37 and take my aching back and old lady hips to peek in the bedroom where my beautiful boys sleep. I find my oldest quietly reading a book.  He slowly peels his eyes away…”Happy Birthday”.  If he only knew he is the true gift of all the days.  

I awake 37 and make my favorite coffee in my favorite mug and turn on my favorite record and simply breathe as the sun floods the room.  As I do, my middle wanders in sleepily.  His grin as he tells me Happy Birthday makes me laugh with sheer goodness as I wrap that wonderful child up in my arms.  They have no idea the depths of my love for them.  The way they have kept me alive and given me a reason to get back up over and over. If they could only know how proud I am of them. 

I awake 37 and know.  The years behind me, the ones that almost broke me?  I know they are a part of me forever and that they have marked me in the deepest way.  I also know they will make me strong and beautiful in ways I can’t yet see but somehow feel in the depths of me.  I awake 37 and feel the gift laid at my feet, the gift of life and building new things from broken pieces.  I grab on to this gift of all birthday gifts, and to 37 I whisper, “Thank you. Let’s go”.

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