Today I am 36 years old. I don't know if I ever thought about where I would be at 36; it was always nebulous, "when I'm grown up/older". I always assumed that I would get married, have children, buy a house...all of which has come to pass. If I were to think of it in terms of a 'bucket list' then everything is crossed off. But its so much more than that. Its a deep and profound joy that I have such wonderful family and friends. While the day to day minutiae can wear me down its the little things that make everything worthwhile: making up silly songs with Noelle in the car, seeing Noah's smile when I go into his room to kiss him good-bye for the day, a sleepy Noelle first thing in the morning wanting to just cuddle for a few minutes before the rush of the day starts in earnest. Knowing that each night I will drift off to sleep in Dylan's arms and the gratitude that he has taken over the tasks of preparing the bottles and lunches in the mornings. Its knowing that I can count on my family for anything - an ear, a bad joke, laughing until tears are running down our faces. The good luck in having my grandmothers still alive and that Noelle will not only remember them but also have a relationship with them tempered with the knowledge that the time with them is limited and that I have to do more to be with them. Its being able to count my mother and sisters as my best friends; its having in-laws who are so much more than a cliche or stereotype. More generous and loving people you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere. Its my dad being there for Noah's birth and always doing whatever he can to help us. Its knowing that whatever I decide to do, all of these people will have my back. They may make fun of me for years afterwards for those decisions but when the chips are down, they are there.
Its been a great 36 years and I can't wait to see what the next 36 will bring.