Today is the last day for me to be 38, tomorrow morning I will turn 39. 30 years ago I turned the same age my son is, I know it has been this way for the past 9 years, but for some reason this year it has hit me stronger than ever.
Perhaps it's the fact that this is a finality for both of us this year...for Orion next birthday he will no longer be a single digit age, he's growing up and becoming a double digit! That's a pretty big deal! For me, next birthday I will turn 40....my new stage in life. I'll officially be "middle-aged" and no longer "In my 30's" That's a big deal....at least to me it is.
And so I have spent the last week or so looking back on my life. 30 years ago I never thought I would make it another 30 days, say nothing about 30 years. I've changed from that helpless little girl who felt nothing but pain and suffering every single day. I had no hope of a future, no hope of survival, I constantly feared what would come and if I would survive to escape.
Perhaps it's the way Orion sees the world now, the way he's understanding more and looking forward to his life as an adult more than ever before. He's coming into his own, he's now figuring out what he wants to be when he grows up with a purpose, not just on the whim of what he likes this week. He's no longer looking to be an astronaut so that he can go into space and catch me a wishing star so that all my dreams can come true...that's why he wanted to be an astronaut when he was 2. Now he wants to be a science teacher because he loves science and wants to share it with other kids. He wants to teach it and watch others discover the magical world of science. I guess in a way I am jealous.
I'm jealous of my own son, is that bad? Is that wrong? I would have given anything to be able to dream big like that, to be able to actually see myself as someone amazing! I didn't have the chance to dream big and actually imagine myself as anything because I couldn't imagine living through the week. With a mother who threatened to kill me, a mother who daily reminded me that I should've been a little yellow pill, that I shouldn't of been born at all.....how can anyone dream with that hanging over their heads on a daily basis? I certianly couldn't, I just wanted to be a better mother than mine was to me...if I survived that long. Don't get me wrong, I would never want my son to ever even think about feeling that way and I'm not jealous to the extent of wishing he could suffer for even one second of a day, I'm just jealous because I never had that chance. It was taken away from me and I didn't even fully realize it was missing until I had a nine year old child of my own starting to really dream with a purpose. That's when I really realized it was missing, that's when it became real.
But then I look at my last 30 years and I realize that one thing is certian...one thing is real...I AM a better mother than her! At least I had that one dream, maybe that one dream was enough to get me through, enough to make sure I survived and strived, enough to make me the mother I am today. I've fed my childs dreams, helped him grow into the young man he is today. A young man I can be proud of.
And speaking of pride....yesterday Orions teacher sent home a note to let me know how Orion has been doing on his higher dosage of meds. I want to share two points she wrote:
"Recently, our afternoon paraprofessional was abscent. There was a substitute in that had spent some time in Orion's class last year. She went out of her way to comment on how much more self-sufficient he is and what a nice attitude he has this year."
"Thank you for helping Orion with his writing at home. I've been very impressed with the result! Did he tell you that with his permission I used his "Favorite Place" writing as an example of how to write great transistions?"
Orion has been struggling with his writing so I started really helping him here at home. They have to write these 5 paragraph essays on a given topic so I have been doing it with him at home. Basically I get the ideas from him, have him tell me what he would like to write and then I tell him how to better word it and he puts it on the paper the way he decides sounds best. He's very quickly getting to the point where he needs very little redirection as far as rewording it, I just have to teach him now where to add more detail and make the story really interesting. The more details the better, I always thought, apparently the teacher thinks so too.
The comment that tugged at my heart the most was the first one...Orion is happy at school. He has a good attitude and he's showing that he can be on his own. Someone saw the change and pointed it out, that makes me so happy it's really the best birthday present so far! To know my son is turning into a kid who is self-sufficient and has a good attitude shows me that I did it...I've already succeeded! I would not have been described as that 30 years ago, I would have been described as withdrawn, sullen, and overly shy.
Tomorrow I turn 39, the end of my 30's, the beginning of another chapter...I wonder if I'll feel as good about my life at the end of this one as I do right now. Like my new ribbon says:
"I am a survivor, NOT a victim!"
Have a great weekend everyone....I'm taking it off so I can enjoy my birthday weekend with my family :)
As for the thought of the week....I have 3 simple words: HOPE, DREAM, BELIEVE
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