Maps and such

Spent the past few weeks being more lost than ever. Being more overwhelmed and underwhelmed simultaneously. I have done so much self reflection and introspection and haven't quite gotten to "found" but have gotten to a more peaceful head space.

The girls turned 5...5! Where did all of that time go? Wasn't I supposed to be making memories that would last a lifetime? How is it possible that they could be so blurry? I'm sure it's somewhere in my brain but hiding for that last "big show" just before you kick it. Hopefully someday I will remember it all with clarity, but I'm not sure I would take the over or under on it. Life is complicated that way.

I remember my 5th birthday. I wore a pink lace and ruffled party dress with matching purse. It was very 80s and I loved it. I got a swing set as my present and the way I remember it, it was delivered to my backyard birthday party. A boy that I liked was there and I can't really remember him but I think his name was Andy. I felt like a princess. For the next few weeks all I wanted to wear was that pink party dress, maybe I just wanted to recapture that feeling of being a princess.

The five-year old brain is simple that way: wear the dress, feel like a princess, life is good. The path is clear, do this then that. All roads lead to happiness...until you get the green cup when you wanted the purple cup or your crusts were cut off from left to right instead of right to left, but I digress.

My daughters charmed the attendees, played with their friends and had a blast. On the ride home they said it was he best birthday ever and my heart melted a little. I don't know if they will remember all the moving parts and there were no pink party dresses, but I hope when they do remember it, they do so fondly and with breathlessness the way I remember my 5th birthday party. Pure joy.

I can't believe how old they are and how far we have come in this journey of parenthood; a journey that I wasn't  always sure I would ever get to go on. The further we get from our struggles the harder it is to remember. The harder it is to hold them closer to my heart and keep them present when the girls are crazy and not listening or my house is a mess and things are completely out of control.

One of my promises when I was doing IVF was to remember the struggle, to keep it in my mind so I wouldn't take anything for granted. I would remember and cherish every moment. I drew the map when I didn't realize how difficult the journey would be.

Now that I'm here, traveling down all of these roads, the windy ones, the hilly ones, the ones that aren't even paved, I don't always stop to remember how lucky I am. I often forget the days spent scouring the internet looking for hope, and the promise I made to remember where we came from, the struggle.

It's human, I guess. People stop using maps once they memorize how to get to where they are going. And sometimes, if they aren't careful, they don't even remember the drive anymore.