Once I had kids, my birthday became sort of… blah.
I still liked receiving cards (yay Snail Mail!) and getting to pick a restaurant to eat at. But I no longer planned to go out for drinks with friends or planned a get-together to celebrate turning one year older. I’ve been trying to survive my first five years of motherhood. Most years, all I wanted was for Mr Boots to show up from work on time.
But now my kids are 5 and 3. They’re a little more independent. For the first time in 5.5 years, I feel like I’m (generally) keeping my head above water. So this year, I wanted something more than a family dinner out.
I turned 35 earlier this month. To me, that’s a big one. A year or two ago, my plan was to dress up in a tutu and do a 35 Year Smash Cake photoshoot. But I ran out of time and had no money to make that happen. Plus, I had a bad itch to get out of town.
Lately, I’ve found myself with a head full of…static, for a lack of a better term. It’s full, but I hear nothing at the same time. I’ve been stressed out over finances and my oldest being in kindergarten. There are days I read the news and think the world is about to end.
I told Mr Boots all I wanted for my 35th birthday was to see the ocean. I just wanted to sit and stare out at all that vastness, even if it was for only a couple of hours.
He thought I was a little crazy, and maybe even joking a little. But I was dead serious when I announced that I’d be going my birthday weekend — with or without him and the boys.
So, we booked a hotel room and packed up for a birthday trip to Virginia Beach.
I think Hurricane Maria was located somewhere off the Eastern seaboard when we were there. There were riptide warnings and at one point over the weekend the Coast Guard flew over in a helicopter. During our first venture to the shoreline, a wave knocked G down and he couldn’t get back up. Mr Boots had to run after him because with each wave G was also taken further down the beach. Aside from those terrifying two minutes, the boys had a blast running to and from the waves as they came in. The water was actually warmer than the air!
The Atlantic was angry. I don’t know how else to describe it. I’ve never seen the ocean look like that before. It was terrifying and beautiful at the same time. I kind of thought it looked like I felt. The wind never ceased while we stood on the beach, but I was okay with that. I think it was able to drown out some of the noise inside my head.
I managed to sit for a moment and stare, but I’m not sure it really settled me in the way I had hoped. It’s a little hard to relax when your kids want to splash around in an angry ocean.
But I was able to come back home with my own family memories. We got to do something different. Be somewhere different. Just the four of us. And that made it a pretty sweet birthday.
How do you like to spend your birthday? Did things change once you had kids?