Yesterday was my birthday. It was a really great day, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of phone calls, e-mails, cards, and gifts I received. I felt pretty special. All of this attention might have even gone to my head a little, if it were not for the efforts of one small person. Said person called me out of bed at 5:45 in the morning to re-attach his band-aid. An hour later, he demanded breakfast and company on the couch. When I was on the phone with my dad, he yelled at me and when I ignored him, he stormed into the garage and slammed the door. He went over to a friend's house, and when I tried to take him home he ran away and when I caught him, I had to carry home a kicking, scratching, 31-pound ball of fury. In the evening, he left a present out of his diaper on the living room floor. Thankfully, my brother-in-law cleaned it up before we got home, but still... In other words, my little guy keeps it real. He keeps my feet chained fast to the ground, even when my head is up in the clouds. He reminded me yesterday that I am just a normal human being, prone to all sorts of weaknesses and foibles. My daughter kept it real on Mother's Day when she presented me with a card that said, "My mother is: 28 years old and weighs: 399 pounds. She is really smart. She knows a lot about: babies."
Seriously. Where would I be without my kids? I know exactly where I'd be, and who with, that's the thing. Ben and I went to Dallas last year for his best friend's wedding. It was our first trip by ourselves since our kids had been born, and it was an eye-opening experience. We slept in until 9:30, we spent a ridiculous amount of time getting ourselves ready, we were on time to everything, we ate out for every meal, we stayed up late with friends and went to clubs. We were utterly self-absorbed. We even got pedicures together and Ben got his feet waxed. I believe it was at that point that I realized that while I could really get used to this lifestyle, I'm not sure I would really like the selfish people we would inevitably become. Don't get me wrong. I am all about pampering yourself once in a while. I think I deserve it. But I realized then that my kids, for the most part, force me to be selfless. I can't think about myself all the time. There are times when I can't even think my own thoughts, period! They keep me humble and keep me focused on others and force me to never take life too seriously, and for that, I can only hope I will be a better person. And so my friends, here's to keeping it real! (And now I've got to run, as a certain person is screaming for milk in his green cup.)