This guest post is by Jenni Bost, expert party-thrower, generous extrovert and wonderful mama to two boys. She blogs about DIY entertaining projects and motherhood at A Well Crafted Party and organizes the blogging group Portland Bloggers—in addition to working outside the home. (Phew!) In this Happy Mother’s Day to Me series, Jenni and a whole slew of mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Check out all the posts in the series!
Do you remember that feeling of never being big enough, fast enough, or strong enough? Living life through the eyes of my sons—with the knowledge that comes with getting older—is humbling to say the least.
My oldest son is four years old and very much enjoys growing older. While I wince with each creak of my aging body, I hear my son talk about his next birthday (not for many months yet) and all the joy that comes with that celebration. (He is totally my kid.) He often talks about “when I get to be 100 I’ll be faster than anyone” or “when I get to be 100 I’ll be a giant.” One hundred years is not old to him.
On a recent car ride and yet another discussion about his birthday he quieted in concentration and then quite seriously asked me, “Mom, do I get a prize when I get to 100?”
“A prize?” I asked.
“Yea, like a toy or a present or something?” he asked in explanation.
I laughed at the time and joked about telling him once I get there. However, the thought stayed with me for some time—especially as I had been mulling around about what I’d write about for this “Happy Mother’s Day to Me” series.
I work in the senior living field and know firsthand that living to 100 (or much older) is no longer the complete fantasy it might have been.
I also totally believe that a prize should happen if I hit 100 years old. The thought inspired my letter to my son for when I hit 100 years old.
My 100 year old birthday prize
Once, long ago, you asked me if you’d get a prize once you hit 100. I laughed at the thought as I couldn’t imagine ever being 100 myself. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret… yes, you do get a prize when you live to be 100. You see, I know firsthand and can now tell you what my prize looks like.
My 100 year old birthday prize is not packaged up tight, wrapped neatly or tied up with a bow. As a matter of fact, it is sometimes messy and complicated. It is both big and small. It is both free and priceless. It sometimes sparkles and at other times it stings.
My 100 year old birthday prize is you. Now that I’m 100 I’ve had the opportunity to know you for more of my life than when I did not know you. You, my son, are a prize worth more than you’ll ever know. Certainly more than all the Hot Wheels cars and Legos you were wishing for at the time you asked me this question.
You see… you made me a mother.
My body wears the proof of the months I grew you safely inside of me. I’ve felt what it feels like to have your tiny hand grasp my fingers with a surprising strength. I cried endless tears in the middle of the night not knowing how I could help you through the pain of learning your stomach and gaining new teeth. I fed you, bathed you, comforted you, and scolded you when you did wrong. I watched as you grew taller, less awkward and more sure. I cheered you on. I ached with worry.
As my oldest you were the one that I found my footing as a mother. Each new challenge that you had to overcome I had to learn with you. I made mistakes with you that I would not make again. Each of our triumphs were so much bigger than the last because you and I, we were in this thing together.
In motherhood I’ve found both the most heartbreaking sadness coupled with the utmost joy in seeing your life lessons, big and small, unfold.
The gift of life for you—the long labor, the sleepless nights, endless worry and endless joy—they were just as much a gift to me. You made me the person I am today and for that I can say, I got the greatest prize I could have gotten in my many, many years.
I hope that you feel the same when you are 100. That your prize is a look back on something that made you feel that you have lived a life worth living. There isn’t anything quite as wonderful. Yes, it is even better than that Starwars Lego set.
Jenni Bost is a mother to two little boys, ages 4 years almost six months. She and her husband are celebrating ten years of marriage this summer. Jenni is a full-time Social Media and Marketing Specialist for a senior living company. In addition to her full-time job she runs a local blogging resource group, Portland Bloggers, and her lifestyle blog A Well Crafted Party. Jenni believes that life is a party and it should be celebrated. Her blog covers topics ranging from DIY party ideas to motherhood to little boy style. Check out her recent passion project, a series on working in motherhood.