My 41st Birthday Present
Today I came home from my morning rush-hour drop-offs and I noticed something bizarre: there is a garden sprouting on my roof.
I climbed up the stairs outside my house to get a closer look, and smiled. What a great and fitting present for my birthday this upcoming Monday…
You see, this birthday isn’t one of the biggies. I’m not turning 12 or 18 or 30 or 50. But this birthday, I realized a few weeks ago, actually is a biggie for me. It’s my JewishMOM birthday: 41 is the numerical value of “Em” or mother in Hebrew.
And when I figured this out, I realized that I could print up my CV from five years ago (it’s been at least 15 years since I wrote up a CV, but let’s just imagine…) and I have NOTHING to add to it, except maybe changing the number of children I have (do you put the number of children you have on a CV? I don’t even know).
But SO MUCH has changed over the past 5 years.
My kids still sometimes stress me out, but much less than they used to.
My house is still a mess and I’m still disorganized, but I’m pulling things together slowly, slowly– year by year.
I still suffer from lack of self confidence, but I’m getting stronger IY”H.
I still have my down moods but I’m feeling better than I ever have.
I still suffer from lack of faith but that lack is lessening as I grow older and the years pass by.
For years I couldn’t really understood the phrase “personal growth.” What does THAT mean? Personal change I understand, but personal growth?
But today I think I do.
This morning when I saw the garden on my roof I felt like Hashem was saying: “Happy birthday Chana’le. Your home is growing, because you have. I know you have suffered your share of growing pains along the way, and I know that you know how far you still have to go…
“But tell me the truth….wasn’t it worth it? Mazal tov!”