I said don’t blink, but you did. Look at you. Where did the time go? You’re thirty today.
Did you know this means that in less than two weeks you’ll have been a parent for a third of your entire life? Crazy, I know.
It’s supposed to be just a number. Two digits that come out to be even and just happen to rhyme perfectly with the word dirty. For most people, it’s a day of fun and celebration with their family and friends, but you haven’t been looking forward to this day.
Maybe it’s because of the shadows that sometimes creep in under your eyes.
Maybe it’s because some days there’s just not enough time to get everything done that you had on your list.
Maybe it’s because of the could have and would have moments that tend to creep up in the back of your mind.
They shouldn’t though.
You see… you and I made the decision to dive head first into this crazy relationship when you were just nineteen years old. We’d both just come out of long relationships with bumpy histories and we claimed we weren’t looking for anything serious. Life has a way of happening though and that first kiss turned to a first date and a first date turned to a first child.
Somewhere along the way, we’d become parents by the time you were twenty. Then came another and then one more. During the span of our relationship, we’d live in with my parents and yours. Then we’d live in three houses and condo before finally buying our own home.
That was it. We were living the dream. Two big, bad adults with a house of their own, three kids, a dog and the white vinyl fence. Like I said earlier though… life has a way of happening.
During our time in that house, we struggled. We loved and we fought. We even teetered on the edge and broke down during an intense conversation about divorce. Somehow life happened and we came out stronger on the other side.
Then, what started as a simple text message, turned into me searching for an accepting a job in Michigan. You packed up an entire house into a moving truck and a car and drove from Florida to Michigan with three kids and the dog and here we are.
This is thirty.
You see, thirty isn’t some evil Disney villain that’s been silently plotting to sneak up on you and take away everything you know and love. Thirty is a culmination of every failure and accomplishment. Every happy moment and every letdown. Every bump, bruise, scrape, and band-aid applied to fix the boo-boos.
Just know that no matter how today goes or what tomorrow brings that I have been rooting for you every step of the way. Just ask 20 and 21. Look back to 25. Every year is a milestone and every day brings the opportunity to add one more stamp to our passports.
I don’t miss 19-year-old Aubrey. I don’t miss 20, 21, and 25. I don’t miss them because they’re all still here. In you, in me, and in our children. Always.
Happy birthday, Aubrey Catherine.