Today is my birthday. Yesterday was my sons birthday, the boy who made me a mother. Now, I am first a mother, and sometimes other things including a wife, a woman, a daughter, friend. (Chef, baker, shopper, homeowner, writer, photographer, hiker, skier, dog mom, reader and hundreds of other aspects of a person which can't be compartmentalized).
The day before that I spanked my child despite my swearing off hitting in our family, despite that I was contradictorily punishing him for hurting his brother, despite that I have vowed to manage my anger and be the example of peace in our home. (My husband is peace. The rest of us are somewhat feral, especially when we are exhausted.)
Afterwards, I went to him and I apologized and he forgave me. We spent a few minutes lying on the floor and he looked at me and said, "I can hear your heartbeat."
I listened to his and told him how it was one of my favorite sounds in the world.
"Blood is love," he said. "As we grow, we get more of it."
I am often surprised by the things my children say when I listen, which I have to be honest, isn't often enough. I am a busy mom, or at least that's how I feel.
When our dog KD died a couple years ago, Barrett was 2. He said she had disappeared into the sun. This year, when we put our cat down, Graham said the same, that Tatu was in the sun now. They both said this independently and without prompting from adults or one another.
Children have a very spiritual way of explaining the world and we need to listen more.
What is the spiritual way of explaining one's birthday? Graham, says its drippy-frosting cake and probably he's right. A birthday is for enjoying oneself, imperfections and all.