Life certainly seems to be a game of hurry up and wait. I am beginning my second blog entry ever at my perch, not at the Starbucks, but at the library (where they sadly do not serve warm, foamy, overpriced beverages, just knowledge, which is sooooo bor-ing).
As the More is More Mom® I have determined that it is my duty to make the lives of my children, and our family, as complicated, and as jam packed full of “fun” as humanly possible. Today for instance, for Amanda’s learning pleasure, she is taking a prep class for the High School Placement Test, which is an exam that she will take in a few weeks (and it is so completely not obsessive that I have had her prepping for this test since the beginning of September). It may seem extreme, this exercise of planning and preparing, particularly as she is a legacy at the Be All and End All Academy where her brother, my son, is a junior, but trust me when I tell you it is oh so necessary. You see, we live in Winsome, IL….”where winning is a way of life.” How can you keep up with the Jones’s if you are not getting ahead, while you are ahead? So, here I wait for her and contemplate…….
I have just turned 42 YEARS OLD!! My God, how on Earth could this have possibly happened? If I don’t take a gander at myself in the mirror, I feel like I am still only 16 (hmmm, but I am the mother of a 17 and 14 year old…..and I don’t live in the back woods). “The Mall” continues to be one my very favorite places in the entire world; the music in my car, or on my headphones, is cranked to an obscenely high decibel level, only now instead of a cassette player I am rockin’ out to my I-Pod (one of my most prized possessions…I have over 4400 songs), and as always the telephone remains a fixture which is practically growing out of my ear (and text messaging flying like fireworks out of my fingertips……if only we would have texting when I was in High School, my already sketchy academic pursuits would have been virtually non-existent! Did you know that these schools don’t have a curriculum for shopping, hanging out at Mc Donald’s and ogling all the cute guys, particularly from the all boy’s school up the street?).
Usually on my birthday I have all of these ridiculous notions about grand gestures of love and affection, which ultimately leads to disappointment. How is it that I can be such an incredible brat? Don’t I have enough? Well, you must understand that for me there is never enough, because I always dream and fantasize about……… more!
This year however, I have had the very nicest birthday that I can ever remember, which even includes my fabulous 40th dinner and dancing celebration. I mean really, how often can you say that you had the best birthday ever when you are starting to get……old? My knee hurts, my hands go numb while I sleep which keeps me awake half the night, I carry a variety of barrettes and pony tail holders with me at all times, tucked inside my purse and pockets, to put up my hair when I have a hot flash (which totally sucks when you are having a pretty darn good hair day) and I swear that I am getting fatter with each passing day, even though I exercise like I’m a participant on the Biggest Looser (which I have never seen, and refuse to tune in to when we are eating because I don’t want to feel guilty about how much butter we use while others are going without). But this birthday was……lovely.
I scooted out the door to take Amanda to school, and missed chatting with Nick because he was running on teenager, who gives a rat’s ass, time, meaning, he was late. As I was driving to the health club Nick called to wish me a happy birthday, which was so very sweet, but get off the phone while you are driving! What do you think, you are your mother?
You’ll probably think I’m crazy, but, I have this theory that you will have a good day, or better yet, a successful shopping excursion, if you find a good parking spot, and today, I got good parking at the health club (I have many theories, such as, if a person with a connection to Chicago and the Cubs sings the 7th inning stretch, then the Cubs should win the game. Should. Come on Lou!). It gives me a little chuckle when I think about the contradiction of my desire to park close to the door at the health club, therefore not having to walk very far from my car, to go inside the building and exercise. Anyway, I was right about the parking. I saw my gal pals, got warm birthday wishes and hugs and kisses, and I didn’t have to wait for any of my machines. It was turning out to be a perfect day.
But what made it so special was the little things….the phone calls and emails from friends; the lovely and thoughtful presents everyone selected because they were so “me”; spending an afternoon with my mom; the tender card from Chuck and the little blue box waiting for me that held a necklace with a beautiful key pendant, which Amanda pointed out is the key to his heart; the Starbucks gift card from Amanda that she purchased herself while we were shopping with friends at 4am on Black Friday; the hot chocolate that Nick brought for me on his way home from school and the boxed set season of the Ace of Cakes (where Duff and his friends make an amazing cake that is a replica of Wrigley Field) and a gigantic Hershey’s chocolate bar (are you seeing a theme here?……….CHOCOLATE!).
Could it be that I might have officially become a grown up? It turns out that it is so totally not a cliché that people are more important than things (but believe me when I tell you that things are still very, very important). It’s just that what is sooooo amazing is the connections we make to the people in our lives…….but for every thing else, there’s Mastercard.