For this year.

This year on September 2oth I will turn 42.

Often I still wonder when I will grow up. And how I got here.

The three pregnancies I lost before my daughter was born. The colic she had for months as we learned to become parents inside of the chaos of a little body struggling to find peace. The decision to stay home with her and learn how to eventually create my own business. The surprise baby years later.

Co-parenting with their dad and learning how to do this all in such a new way. Witnessing the way he has dealt with his grief and is creating space for surprises and joy for all of them.

Co-parenting with my love, who we manifested into our life. The man who teaches us so much and gives us play and adoration and safety. Kids who call each other 'bonus siblings' as we blend our families together inside of our love. We are in awe of how blessed we are and the gems of wisdom these kids are teaching us about ourselves.

Watching them grow and change, learn to swim, have a first girl (or boy) friend, honor their needs while creating boundaries.

My love calls the moments we are inside of with these little ones, the stories of our lives. We are trying to write them down, record them, honor them, hold them tight as days pass and more are written.

The hardest part for me in life is letting go of expectation of what it all should look like or feel like or become because we can never known how hard, how much love, how all of it will unfold.

And the guilt of manifesting a child for so long only to be met with the actual truth of becoming a mother. It is hard. Harder than anything else we will ever do. And the way it engulfed who I was as my woman-self and the ways I got lost. Disconnected. Scared.

As I walk towards my 42 year there is a clinging tight to ritual. To the little things that make the mornings work. Setting up a tower of blocks with some animals around it, a bowl of dry cereal and a mason jar of milk waiting in the fridge for the one who gets up at the earliest hour.

The stories my friends tell and the inspirations they give me inside of their mothering. The trips to the beach at sunset that splatter across Facebook in the summer, binding us all together no matter how we have chosen to mother. We are in this together.

The stew and wine dates on the deck with the man who has taken on the beautiful work of being inside this blended family with you, and loving the kids in ways that change everyone. The way you know you must give so much time to the core of this relationship, as this joy and love feed the kids.

When you know you need to be side by side the women who are living this crazy life with you and you pile all 7 of you in the truck to drive to see all 5 of them in the mountains and all of a sudden you can breathe again. Because the way they live reminds you constantly that you are strong enough and this is all so amazing.

On the drive we talk about how we are raising them to become who they want to be, as we are still learning about who we want to be.

Turning 42 doesn't have the same weight that 39/40 did. It is a bit less exciting. But it feels important. Important to continue to honor all the parts of me. The girl turned women turned wife turned mama turned business woman turned single mama turned girlfriend turned mama to more turned wise true self.

So for my birthday this year I am gathering inside of this circle of women, of mamas and we will be together in all our different parts and pieces. This is how I choose to celebrate. While I continue to wonder, when will I grow up...