Elliott turned one, and we had his birthday party. Cake, friends, balloons, a fake photobooth, mostly just the friends, filling the house to bursting. I wish we could have invited 70 more people. It was one of the rare moments where I stopped and realized "we are loved. we are treasured. we have people. this is awesome." Thank you, all of you, for making our family work. For validating my need to share and get feedback and show off this little life, with all the ups and downs. It was a good party. After the last friend left, I laid down flat on the floor with shreds of a silver wig pressing into my face, and Milo sat on my back, and I drank the rest of the champagne.
This morning the boys were up early. Like, from 1am on, and when all of us and the cat in the full sized bed wasn't working, I brought the boys out here to play and clean up diapers and watch Megamind, which I really liked but I'm burnt out on it and only exhaustion kept me from fighting for Wreck It Ralph. We had time for the entire movie, some balloon olympics, eggs and fruit, storytime, and cleaning the kitchen. By 7:20 both kids had been given cough syrup and put back to bed. I've lived half a day and it's only 8, and I'm alone in a quiet house.
My mind is everywhere. My heart is sore and my brain jumbled, dwelling on a real-life sadness, one of the things that makes it so I don't need to read Jodi Picoult or watch dramatic movies. Real life is sad enough, even heard about from a distance. Work is overwhelming, and I wonder if it's right. If I'm a right fit. If I could move a small step up or down and be more effective. I'm wondering if I could ever make money by writing. The kind of money that sends kids to daycare and puts kale on the table, even if we pick Ramen for Saturday lunch over half the time. There is a big part of me that truly thinks it's selfish to even wonder. I have a job that provides SO MUCH for my family, money and medical care and a predictable schedule and the gift of time. Whether or not I'm fulfilled is a separate matter. Maybe the first goal is to learn how to fulfill yourself, make yourself happy, get a hobby and get really good and it and shoulder through the work. See it for what it is and look for your fulfillment in the moments before, after, and in between. Count your lucky stars.
So that's a tiny corner of my brain right now, a constant beat with "WE NEED YOGURT" and "FIND BABYSITTER FOR MONDAY" thrown in for good measure. Right now I'm going to take advantage of this silence and read, and have more coffee, and make a list of things to get done like any sane person on a Sunday morning. I'm happy, and I'm lucky, and I'm home.
(image credit here, found it via pinterest, text added by me)