Every year on my birthday, my mom calls me at exactly 11:28 am, the moment of my birth.
I don't remember when the tradition began, but I love it.
I guess it's kind of an in-between age. I don't feel bad about it. It's fine.
33 was one of the best and hardest years for me. I didn't blow any candles out on my 33rd birthday, but I did make a birthday wish, for a baby.
Yesterday, Michael and I were shopping and stopped at Starbucks for afternoon lattes and as I was finishing up my pumpkin spice, and he was sipping the last of his caramel, we heard one of those screamers.
You know the screamer kids. Their parents just desperately wanted to go to the mall - for Stride Rites, or maybe for something for themselves, but it took too long to find a parking space, or maybe they shifted their schedule to go with a friend, and so they missed nap time by 20 minutes and now their angel baby is a full-on screamer. They're horrified and getting looks of sympathy from some, and judgement from others.
I never saw the kid. I felt sympathy, but wasn't close enough to give a look.
Michael and I looked at each other, "I'm glad for where we are right now."
And then we went to Old Navy.
Just like that.
Contentment is a funny thing.
When you don't have it - it seems so far out of reach! There were months this year that I cried myself to sleep, that I had to block dear friends and their ultrasound and babies-in-pumpkin-patches pictures on Facebook, because I didn't have the one thing I wanted so badly.
I prayed and prayed, even at one point hashing it out with God - trying to give this dream up, thinking maybe that's what was holding me back from getting it.
And, little by little, when I wasn't looking - much like we age - here I am at this new place.
Where there's a screamer in the mall, and I'm perfectly happy with just a latte.
This Fall is full of exciting opportunities for us. Next weekend, I'll be at Allume (a Christian women's blogging conference in South Carolina). The weekend after that, Michael and I are so excited to host our first getaway for couples like us who also juggle a disability in their marriage. Later in November, I'm going to a caregiving conference in Philadelphia.
My 35th year is taking shape, already. And while I had put all of this pressure on myself to have a baby by age 35 (because you know, research shows if you have a kid later, it has 9 heads), I realize now that was completely not the plan, and this completely is the plan.
So, I'm content.
And it happened not when I tried so hard to be content.
But just when I put one foot in front of the other, when I woke up each night and went to work and bought groceries and got my husband dressed.
I'm not giving up the baby dream. I hope it does happen one day.
But I don't think it's going to be this year. I think this is going to be the year for writing and speaking and helping couples connect and find contentment of their own in this crazy life.
And I'll drink a latte to that.