42

Today is my birthday. I don’t much mind the birthday itself. I think 42 is going to be a fantastic age, and a grand year in almost all respects. 

A dear friend once told me his philosophy on life. He said life is like a pie. It’s cut into 6 or 8 pieces and all of those pieces represent different parts of your life. One piece is for joy & satisfaction from your children. Another is job satisfaction. Another is spiritual peace. Another is sex. And so on. One is romantic love: the satisfaction, joy, & contentment from knowing you love someone with your whole being & they unequivocally love you back. That you are their person. 

He contended that as long as most of the pieces of the pie were full or mostly full then that made up for the pieces that were only half full, or a quarter full. I think, though, there are some pieces that are WORTH more. That instead of being evenly divided the pie was lop-sided. That having only a quarter of a big piece was more impactful than a quarter of a smaller piece because then you still had more of the whole. 

How much can we affect the value of each piece? Can I tell myself that I don’t need romantic love and convince myself to make that piece smaller? What about sex? Sure, I can get sex if I really want it but do I want to waste my joy & vulnerability on someone that I don’t have a heart connection with? No, I don’t. I think those two pieces are woven together tightly. They should be, at least. 

So as I sit here on my 42nd birthday, the year that will provide me the answer to life, the universe, and everything, I wonder what I can do to fill up my pie more in the other areas while lacking in the love & sex pieces. Because I don’t want to dither anymore. I don’t want to waste my time. I don’t want to keep hoping for what isn’t there. I’m 42. I’m strong. Dammit, I’m a badass. (At least I was told that once or twice). 

I’m not going to settle for less than I deserve. I’m not going to settle. Period. 

My darling dearest, you come at me with love, respect, and an open heart and I’ll be here. Until then, I’m going to rebuild, strengthen, and increase every other piece of my life until I am surrounded by peace & love & hard-earned prosperity. And then, my friend, you will wish you had me to hold. You will wish you saw this power radiating in me through your narrow vision before it was too late. I will not let you oppress me. 

I have it all within me. I just need to believe it, own it, and focus. I will not be swayed. 

This is 42. This is me. 

Xoxo,

Stef 

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9

At 1:47 AM this morning, 9 years ago, this happened:
(Read the story of how that birth happened here). 
And, just like that, we were a family: 

Then we took him home and started the arduous task of raising him. It was tough, at first, with amazing highs and lows. The boy was dubbed “failure to thrive” after losing some weight and then he started refusing to nurse. We found out that I wasn’t producing enough milk for him. I started pumping and pumping and pumping. And then I pumped some more. I was a dismal failure at it. The max I ever pumped in ONE DAY was 2.5 ounces. So, as if that challenge wasn’t enough, the kid wouldn’t sleep at night. I spent all day pumping and trying to feed him in-between his naps and then when the hubby got home from work I would try to sleep for a few hours and then, like clockwork, the boy was wide awake from midnight until 8 am. It took a month for us to start paring that down and, hour by hour, I was able to get him to go to sleep earlier. But, man, for awhile I felt like the walking dead.
Once we got over these speed bumps we were able to really just enjoy him. He was so sweet and we enjoyed him so much. He loved being swaddled very tightly. We called him our burrito baby. He was happy and snuggly and he looked like a little man. 
Here’s a pictorial from his younger years:
8 weeks old. He can thank me for this later.
My little man
Look what’s growing!
First trip to Disneyland
Kickin’ it baby-style
And then, before we knew it (or had even considered it) he was a big brother:
He seemed to grow up so fast after that point. He just became a big boy in the flash of an instant:
Halloween when he was 4
5th birthday
Going to school!
And now, so handsome, so smart and clever. He’s become so independent. He gets up in the morning and starts getting ready for school. He runs to the bus stop by himself. He gets his own band-aids. He does his chores and yells at his brother and brushes his teeth and combs his hair and reads. He started reading the first Harry Potter book this year. Oh my.

Look what I made. I am one proud mama today. (And most days, to be honest).