If this seems a little familiar to you, it’s because you’ve seen it before! OR at least a version of it. The day before my first heartiversary, I did this exercise so I’d always have some documentation of what life was like at that milestone.
Lately, I can’t help but blast my radio, open the sun roof/roll down the windows and sing inappropriately loud when Taylor Swift’s “22” plays. People stare. Cameron, strapped snugly in his carseat, roars like a lion and squeals with laughter. Then it ends. And 22 was soooo long ago. And SOOOO messy! Recently, this parody of being “32” made me laugh hysterically. It’s somewhat depressing and totally melodramatic and doesn’t entirely ring true for me – but hysterical nonetheless. Happily, I’m only turning 31 this year, so I have another year before I can succumb to the full doom of being “well in to” my 30s :)
Two years ago, when I turned 29, I was scared that I wouldn’t see 30 or 31 or any birthday after. I can’t really describe the relief felt at every “milestone” I hit on this journey – but maybe this will help: A few days ago, I was holding Cameron and he kept trying to yank my shirt down. Trying not to giggle & call him a perv, I scolded him and explained what “private parts” are. He placed his hand on my collarbone and said “But mama – I want to feel your heart beat.”
Gulp. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.
So I took his little chubby hand and placed it under my collarbone. “Mama! I can feel your heart beating. Your medicine is working.” I connected these dots that he watches me take my meds every morning and when he asks if he can have some I say “No Cam – mommy takes medicine so her heart doesn’t get sick. But you are a healthy boy so you don’t need medicine.” I say that to him everyday and it never occurred to me that one day, he’d want to investigate mommy’s heart to see if all was truly well.
I get to turn 31. And he gets to feel my heart keep beating.
Rachel in a Nutshell
I love the look on Cameron’s face when Brian gets home from a work trip.
I love cooking – for myself, my family and friends.
I feel satisfied for about 5 minutes and then take on another challenge.
I feel satisfied that Cam has enough people who love him in his life.
I feel satisfied when I’ve made it successfully across the weekly tightrope of working motherhood.
I get worried about our impending journey of fostering.
I get worried about maintaining friendships as family life gets busier.
I get worried because I come from a long line of worriers!
When I was little, I loved to go fishing.
When I was little, I enjoyed TV shows such as Dynasty and Tales from the Darkside.
When I was little, I wore my swimsuit & church shoes, pretending to be a ballerina.
I collect wine corks.
I collect pressed pennies.
I collect red dress pins.
I can picture myself at age 10, aspiring to be an Olympic gymnast at my very first gymnastics class.
I can picture myself at age 24, ending an engagement/relationship and wondering “what now?” Little did I know what was around the corner!
I can picture myself at age 80, telling stories to my grandchildren (and great-grands?) about the "old" days
I will never forget arguing with a woman at the DMV because upon seeing how “healthy” I looked, bypassed the screen when I could indicate my heart disease on my driver’s license.
I will never forget singing Like a Prayer with my Nerinx besties at my wedding reception.
I will never forget the time Cameron somehow busted his lip from walking into the couch and I fully embraced my role as a boy-mom.
It frustrates me when people tell me “it’s about time for another baby” wink-wink, nudge, nudge. “You and Brian better get busy”.
It frustrates me when my plans for a healthy diet go awry.
It frustrates me when people make ignorant remarks about my multi-ethnic family.
I feel helpless that I can’t protect Cam from the world (well, obvi)
I feel helpless when problems feel bigger than solutions.
I feel helpless that science can only move so fast.
I wish it didn't take a traumatic experience for people to prioritize their life.
I wish somebody would give me a baby sister for Cameron.
I wish I had more time to just make-out with my husband.
I am proud of my role as a Go Red spokesperson.
I am proud of my brothers, who are slllooooowwwlllly but surely becoming adults.
I am proud to have learned from my mistakes.
I hope for happy endings.
I hope that my voice will make a difference for someone.
I hope to raise strong, caring kids.
I crave a heart healthy serving of wine (5 oz) every day J
I crave and cave in to fried chicken once a year. And then my stomach hurts for days
I crave naps, snuggles, spooning and cuddles.
I admire my heart warrior sisters.
I admire my husband’s dedication to our son.
I admire Sheryl Sandberg, though at times, I disagree with her.
I have been told I’m stronger than I realize.
I have been told that I look more and more like my mom every year.
I have been told that heart disease shouldn't define me; but in a way, I’m okay that it does.
I enjoy dusky summer evenings on our 2nd floor balcony.
I enjoy watching reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
I enjoy following the Twitter feeds of @HonestToddler & @FeministTSwift
I think an ingenious invention is the cookbook holder.
I think an ingenious invention is the bodum coffee press.
I think an ingenious invention is drug eluting stent (google it – I have 2!)
I find an outlet to life in blogging!
I find an outlet to life playing like a toddler with my toddler.
I find an outlet to life by taking time for massages!
I am outraged by gun violence.
I am outraged by society’s slow paced changed.
I am outraged by how complicated it is to provide a child in need with a good home.
I would not be who I am if I wasn’t a fighter.
I would not be who I am without great friend to lean on.
I would not be who I am if I didn’t overshare.
I have debated life as a full-time parent.
I have debated going to culinary school.
I have debated finding a surrogate for BGS.
I do not really remember my “old” normal.
I do not like anything with olives.
I do not do well without technology.
I look forward to meeting my next child.
I look forward to learning why SCAD happens.
I look forward because I have hope and faith in what great things are to come.
"Life is not a spectator sport; win, lose or draw, the game is in progress whether we want it to be or not. So go ahead, argue with the refs, change the rules, cheat a little, take a break and tend to your wounds. But play hard, play fast, play loose and free; play as if theres no tomorrow. Ok so, It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game, right?" - Grey's Anatomy