i did not plan it this way

Thirty-four years ago I came screaming into this world two weeks late. (I am still apologizing to my mother for that.  And the long labor.  Seriously.  SORRY, MOM!)

And I haven’t been on time for anything since then either.


It was 1978.

Michigan was having some wild weather that year.  The infamous Blizzard of ’78 had happened just a month or so before, and my mom loves to tell how it was snowing when she went in to the hospital to have me and was like 80 when she left to take me home.

I was not an easy child.

I was basically Eddie, only a girl.

I was not an easy teen either, which makes me extremely nervous for Eddie’s teen years.

Anyway, twenty years ago I was an awkward, gumpy eighth grader with frizzy hair and a sad excuse for a “bang” (not bangs, mind you, due to a colic on my mini-widow’s peak) just turning 14.

I don’t really remember much from my 14th birthday.  I know it was on a Friday.  Other than that, this is what was happening back in March of good old 1992…

  • The first George Bush had just raised taxes…after all that “no new taxes” BS that he spouted during his campaign.
  • Bosnia was a brand new nation.
  • Garth Brooks and Color Me Bad were big deals in the music world.
  • Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson separated from Prince Andrew.
  • Mike Tyson was sentenced for rape.
  • Silence of the Lambs was the biggest movie of the year.

If you had asked me then where I thought I would be in twenty years, I would not have listed anything that is in my life right now.

Mostly because I thought of 34 as horribly old and decrepit.

I mean, my mom was in her 30’s.

Ten years ago I was an insecure, naive 24 year old.  This time my birthday was on a Wednesday, and I was dating a guy who I probably didn’t even see on my birthday.  In my insecure, naive way, I am sure I justified this as being totally ok.

I didn’t know by this same time the next year we would have broken up after almost five years together. I was naive, remember?

In March of 2002, this is what else was happening besides my searching for a teaching job and ignoring all the signs that I was with the wrong guy…

  • Afghanistan was invaded…by the US and others.
  • Spain joined the rest of Europe by adopting the euro
  • Switzerland joined the United Nation

And that is really about it.  Slow month, I guess.

At 24 I thought I had my whole life planned out.  I would have still told you 34 was old, but I would have told you I would be married to the guy I was dating (wrong), teaching in the school where I was subbing (wrong), and totally done having kids (maybe wrong?).

And now here it is.  2012.  My 34th birthday.

My day has been spent cleaning up spit up, poop, and crumbs.

I am on leave from a great teaching job so that I can care for my newborn.

I am married to a guy I never ever considered to be date material let alone husband material in all the growing up years we’ve known each other.

I have been pregnant four times.

I have two sons.

I have been to three family funerals since getting married.  All for my husband’s side of the family.

I have three nephews and one newbie due in November.

I have watched all my siblings and siblings-in-law get married…and been a part of each ceremony.

I am a godmother.

I’ve gotten a tattoo.

I’ve survived postpartum depression, antenatal depression, anxiety, and just plain old depression.

Not one thing in my life has happened the way I thought it would by the time I turned 34.

And I am so grateful.

thank you, Missy, for this image. It is exactly right.

Happy birthday, indeed.

I have already gotten three of the best gifts I could ever hope for.