A Perfect Birthday Storm

So my little guy has his second birthday this weekend and that should be pretty exciting for a mom, right? I’ve survived not just one, but now TWO years, which is a feat to be celebrated!

But in true “such is life” form, everything that could possibly go wrong with my self-congratulatory party is, in fact, playing itself out.

For one, there is a major Hurricane making landfall on the coast of NC as I write this, and it’s projected to wreak havoc across my state over the next few days. People and places I love will be hammered with rain and wind, and the force of worry I feel for them is surging perhaps more strongly than the churning storm itself.

Second, the celebration I’d put together for my little guy is now a wash too due to the cancelled festival where I had the perfect day for him worked out. The event was called “Touch a Truck” and it was complete with siren-blasting, tractor riding, and even ice-cream vendors on hand. The local Junior League practically planned my son’s birthday party for me, but sadly none of us will get to see his big squeals of “BUH!” (bus) or “GAH-GAH” (truck) excitement now.

And, if all that’s not bad enough, well then there’s the reality that now we will just be spending his birthday cooped up at home instead as Florence hammers down on us too. There will probably be no where to go that’s open, or no where we’d want to go in all that weather anyway. I’m not sure if I’m more sad that my little buddy will be turning two in such unceremonious fashion, or scared of being stuck inside all day (which is a mom’s “perfect storm” in it’s own right)!

So naturally, I’m grappling with all sorts of emotions this weekend on the eve of my son’s second full rotation around the sun.

While I know I can’t predict a hurricane and didn’t ask for the cancelled plans, I can’t help but feel responsible for this “disaster” of a development. And then, naturally I feel immediately guilty for feeling so disappointed about my marred plans – how selfish of me, when I know how much worse the reality of the weekend will be for many other families across my state!

But what am I supposed to feel? What am I supposed to do? My little man only turns two once!

As I approach my 37th time around the sun, by now I’ve learned that there will be times that are great, and then there will be times that get completely blown upside down. There are some plans that will unfold beautifully, and others that will just entirely go to pot. And you can’t really take any of them personally, or take any of the credit for them either. Just like you can’t change the weather, life will happen on its own terms, irreverent of our needs, regardless of our plans, and even despite a little boy’s perfect second birthday celebration.

So, you roll with it. And maybe you even learn something from it along the way.

Like maybe you learn how to be okay when things don’t go as planned. Or you learn how to be okay with feeling human feelings, even when they feel selfish and icky.  Or maybe you just learn how to intimately honor the day you gave birth for a second time with those who made you a mother, and lean your gratitude a little harder into the very miracle of that.

These are the lessons brewing for me this blustery weekend as my family and I hunker down and ride out our Florence birthday storm together.  And my hope for you is that your family is  too at least together, comfortable and safe, as you brace for life (or maybe weather like me). Because life certainly may not be perfect and can even be turbulent at times, but the greatest refuge from all that unpredictability lies steadfast in the hearts of those we love.

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Asheville, NC 28801

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(828) 407-0324

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