Friday, May 9, 2008

The BIG 30!

Remember when 30 seemed old? When I was 18, 12 short years ago, thirty seemed a million miles away. People who were 30 were married and had kids. They had real jobs and responsibilities, 4-letter words to a kids just graduating high school. Yep, I remember when 30 seemed old. Wait a still does, and I'm only one day away from it. I'm married, and have been for nearly 7 years. I have kids, two of them and one of the way. Neil has a real job and we both have responsibilities, like keeping the kids alive. It's like all of a sudden I woke up, and I'm a grown up. I don't feel like a grown up. In fact sometimes I don't "feel" old enough to be a wife and a mom. I was shocked with the doctor's let me leave the hospital with Owen. You mean they're not going to test my knowledge on parenting or check in on me in a few days to make sure I'm not shaking the baby? Inside I still feel like that kid preparing to go off to college and discover herself, her whole life waiting. But I'm starting to realize that life doesn't end at 30. There's nothing to say that who I am now is who I have to be for the rest of my life. Don't worry, no mid-life crisis here. Mainly because it's not anywhere close to mid-life (or hopefully not). I guess my dad probably didn't think 30 would be mid-life for him either. That's too weird to think about, so I'll move on.

This has been one heck of a 30th year. I kicked it off with the birth of my son Blake on the 23rd of May. That's really not true. I spent my actual birthday with my husband and my mom doing EVERYTHING I could think of to get Blake out of me (you know, since my mom was here and all.) Then I restarted my business with the Pampered Chef, and held strong through March (when I left to go to Georgia). Wow, it's amazing how I can't remember much between May and March 23. There was our 6th anniversary and Owen's 2nd birthday...oh, and Neil turned 30 as well (all in August might I add). Right after the Summer, we started working on Grace Adventures Day Camp, a new camp at our church. It didn't actually get a name until after the Christian Camping and Conference Association conference in San Diego in November (first time in San Diego and I got to see my friend Jen too). Let's see, what else? We decided to sell our house and buy another house in Maryland...and started working to that end (sort of). And then Dad got digressed, barely surviving the C-Diff. And you know the rest of the story. A day or two after he died, this third child (prayerfully a girl) was conceived.

Mom said last night, "It's a good thing we don't believe in reincarnation." That's just what I need my dad running around disguised as my child. It gives me the creeps just thinking about it. Not that I wouldn't love to see my dad again, but yikes. Can you imagine me trying to discipline him?

Yes, it's been a big year for me, and not all great. No one is supposed to lose their dad at 30, but then again, I suppose there are many out there who didn't even get that. I know I keep going back to this, but my sister Alex is only 18 (almost 19). I try to put myself in her shoes, to think of what it would have been like to lose him back then. First of all, it would have been hard for a multitude of different reasons. It was when I was 18 that I became a Christian, and one of the first things I prayed for was the ability to forgive my dad. He was coming to Milledgeville to speak to my literature class, and the night before, I stayed up all night long writing him a letter. It might seem cowardly to you, but if you knew my dad, you'd know how difficult even that was. It was long, and I honestly can't remember what I said, but once I gave it to him, something in me changed. The bitterness began to melt away, the anger subside. I was free. From that point on, I made every effort to regain a relationship with him, and I did. So in the midst of all that, I can't say what it would have been like to lose him then, with so much baggage unpacked, so much unforgiven. But I know I would have carried those suitcases around with me, filled with regret, anger, and a couple pairs of socks. I'm so thankful for the 12 years I had with him as an adult, and especially the last few weeks of his life where I had the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I probably miss him more now because of all that, and I can't believe that he won't be making his annual birthday call to me tomorrow.

Okay birthday's are suppose to be fun and uplifting (at least until you hit 40), and I'm sitting here depressing myself. Could be the hormones from the pregnancy or just the fact that I miss my dad. Either way, I shouldn't be sitting here, listening to the rain fall outside, typing through my own storm of tears, getting ready to start my ever so busy day.

I can believe I'm turning the BIG 30 tomorrow.


Paige said...

Let me encourage you a bit! You have come a long way baby! I am so proud of where God has brought you in that time since you gave your life to the Lord. I remember the struggle to forgive your dad as we shared that together. God has done so much in your life to continue to demonstrate his grace to you and your family. I can't wait to meet the new baby one day still have to meet Blake. ;) I miss you and happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

Dear Hillary, Happy Thirtieth B'day. I remember my 30th. My wonderful husband sent me 5 pairs of pajamas from Victoria Secret. We were going away that weekend for a romantic getaway,when I saw the Victoria box on my front porch I was so excited. However I kept pulling out these pretty pajamas. I started crying, I guess I was expecting something more well you know. Anyway he explained that the models that were wearing those pajamas were anything but matronly, LOL Now twenty three years later I can tell you I still don't feel grown up. Congratulations on the baby. I just smiled when I read the news. I imagine your dad is too. Blessing, Robbie

Anonymous said...

Well 30 ain't over the hill and 40 is not so old, but when you are past the double nickle. Whoa!!!! And, I'm like you. There are days when I think, "How can my baby be turning 30? I'm not old enough for that. And, another grandDAUGHTER on the way..."

As Paige said, you have come a long way since those younger days. Your walk with God has truly given you grace and wisdom and I am very proud of you.

Just FYI, your dad completely forgot my 30th birthday, worked late and come home with nothing. My sister was the only one who even told me Happy Birthday that year and thank God, she was passing through Atlanta and stopped by to give me a hug.

So, take a deep breath, give yourself a hug from me and have a wonderful, happy, laughter-filled day. Wish I could be with you, but I will be there in spirit.

Love, Laughter and Lollipops,
Mom of Chaos

Kara said...

Happy Birthday Hills! I can assure you that 30 is not so bad. Lots more to come after 30. Hey, I still haven't had a kid. You are so far ahead of me!! I miss you girl!