Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Today I turn {29}.

I find myself dumbfounded that, well, I only have one more year of my twenties left to live (!) 

Not sure why, but I can feel the clock if I'm about to exit the last decade of relative-youth, bound for the '30s and later the '40s and '50s.  I'm becoming an adult or something.  (If having five children doesn't already make you an adult.  Pretty sure it does, although maybe not, since I'm regularly asked if I'm babysitting.  It is, therefore, quite possible that I still haven't achieved adult-status.)

I don't FEEL any older, really, than I ever did.  But somehow 29 sounds much, much older than 26, or even 27.


Life moves so much more quickly when you have little ones to mark the passage of time.  Wasn't it just yesterday when my water broke and I packed up my hospital bag and soaked sat on a bunch of towels on the couch while I waited for Kevin to commute home?  No, I was 22 and about to have our first baby.  That was nearly seven years ago.  Sheesh.

What I think I want to say this July 14th is simply the following: I won't be a woman who bemoans each and every birthday, who complains about her ever-increasing age and who longs for her younger years/pre-baby body/faster metabolism/crows-feet-free-eyes.  Nope, not gonna do that.  For one thing, vanity is a personal pet-peeve of mine.  I work hard to kick it to the curb.  It's yucky.  For another, life ought not belong to the young.  God is present in each and every moment, in the here-and-now, working common miracles in my life and in yours whether we are ten or fifty-four.  What a shame to spend valuable moments of God-given breath wishing for the past and for things that ultimately perish anyway.  We are who God made us to be.  Today. 

To be honest, I don't wish to relive my teen years.  I might like to go back for a day or two though, because they were good years.  (See, frequent trips to the beach and skipping Advanced Placement English class in lieu of eating frozen yogurt at the park, with your very best friend, are pretty darn fun.  So was watching Friends every Thursday night and getting the "Jennifer Anniston haircut" my freshman year of high school.  Let's not kid ourselves.)  But I've experienced so much since then, things I wouldn't trade for the world.  (Not to mention, the haircut, while good, never did make me LOOK like Jennifer.  What is that about?)

I also don't want to go back to my early '20s, save for a couple of days perhaps.  My early years of marriage were great, the early years of parenting were magical, but here I am today with five precious children.  I love my respective relationships with each of them.  They make me laugh.  Basically I just really like where I am. 

Most of the time.

Because all of this is not to say that living in our air-brushed society (and church unfortunately), vanity is easy to overcome.  To be honest I do occasionally (like everyone else...right??!!) struggle with feelings of insecurity, look-at-how-much-more-fashionable-she-is-than-me, and wouldn't my life be so much more interesting and glamorous if I didn't spend  my days grumpily herding cats lovingly tending to five small children up and down the sample-laden aisles of Costco?

And so I ponder the following words:

If nothing so much as motherhood or potential motherhood makes a man respect a woman, this is because it raises her above the category of an object to be possessed and establishes her in that of a subject to be revered.
--Cormac Burke

Age is a gift.  To grow up and quietly, gracefully slip into the role of wife and nurturer and mother is truly remarkable.  I'm choosing to believe this with all that is in me.  I'm reminding myself of this when I feel inadequate.  I'm holding to this as I kiss owies and make PB&J sandwiches and kick vanity to the curb...all for the umpteenth time.

I'm 29.  Committed to loving life and pretty darn excited about all my future holds.  Even if I don't do one little thing this whole next year, and just sit on my couch eating Butterfingers and Candy Cane Joe-Joe's whilst watching Days of Our Lives (of which I may or may not be a fan), my twenties will have been exciting, busy, fulfilling, amazing, and encompassing more love and joy than a lifetime should hold.

A happy birthday indeed!

(And if you think there's any chance that I'll actually spend the next three-hundred-and-sixty-five days in a stationary position, filling my stomach with delectable treats as I escape to Salem and angrily question why Bo and Hope never get along, well, you're wrong.  I'll probably spend an afternoon or two doing that, though.  And if you bring me Dr. Pepper or Diet Coke, I'll let you join me.  I might even share my Butterfinger.)


Paige said...

Happy Birthday!!! I'll bring the diet coke, you bring the butterfingers. =) Sounds heavenly!

Paige said...

PS: Glad I am not the only one who people mistake for a babysitter. Must be our youthful good looks. Ha!

joy said...

Happy Birthday, Brianna! Since I am personally well-entrenched in my thirties (I just turned 35--talk about sounding older), I can say with authority that my thirties are really really great. But,you still have another year of your twenties to enjoy. I enjoyed your perspective on aging and God being present--as usual you have much wisdom. Thanks for sharing and happy birthday!

Kevin Heldt said...

Happy Birthday Beautiful. I love you.

Lori said...

Hi! I am coming out of hiding to wish you a Happy Birthday!! I hope your day is great!

Mama Melissa said...

Happy, happy birthday!!! :) Pray blessings fill the year!


this is us said...

Could you just hurry up and enter your thirties?!? Before I leave them?!?! :)

Happy Birthday - so thankful you were born and that I get to know you!


zunzun said...

Happy Birthday!

Brianna Heldt said...

Jennifer thank you for the sweet words! We can both be in the same decade starting NEXT July 14th, I think!!!! Heehee!!!!

Rachel said...

You definitely start to feel old when the "it" celebrities and sports players are much younger than you. All of a sudden your generation are playing moms and getting coaching jobs. We all have to grow up sometime. Happy Birthday, again. You wanna close out your 20's by running a 10k in October???

Brianna Heldt said...

Rachel ha! Thanks, but no thanks, I think I'll have to pass on the 10k. :) And so true about the celebrities.

Charla Liedahl said...

Hope you had a wonderfful day and will have another fabulous year! I was a wreck when I truned 30 because I hadn't achieved so much of what I dreamed of...but then a couple months later Todd and I started dating and EVERYTHING has been better since! My 30's have been awesome so far. Yours will be, too! I just know it!


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