Summer bursts with activities and plans, and I am already wondering at the folly of trying to move in the midst of it all. I put out a group text yesterday to solicit help from our kids, and the response was as expected:
We are away that weekend.
Can we help with the pre-move prep?
Our youngest son has offered to dedicate a day to help with his truck, which will be great; and the others have said they could help of an evening, but we are moving outside of town, so that doesn’t make much sense. We’ll hire help.
The other event happening this month is my 60th birthday. I haven’t really wanted to say it aloud, or make a fuss. It’s just another day.
“It’s an important birthday,” my husband chastises me. “I am disappointed you haven’t heard from the kids.”
I am not. Birthdays in July are always hit and miss. Kids go to camp; families go on vacation. For years, my family went away the week of my birthday.
“No worries. I am getting a new house for my birthday! What more could I need?”
Truth is, July has always been a difficult time for me in terms of depression. It is not a conscious thing, but nevertheless it has taken up residence in my psyche. It hit two days ago. As usual, it catches me off guard.
“Where did this come from?” I wondered as the heaviness descended. Even this morning, I felt an urge just to remain prone on my bed, lacking incentive to budge.
It wasn’t until I saw the prompts for the day that I realized the source of this discontentment: birthday month.
It is not aging that sets me off: in fact, sixty has a freeing ring about it. It is a history
of disappointments and letdowns, dating back to family of origin. I have tried to lessen the pain over the years with therapy, and yet, it lingers: a dappled bruise on my soul. Maybe some things never heal.
“Send the kids a message that we will host a birthday celebration here,” Ric suggests.
I do. One family is just getting back from vacation then, another out of town. So far, one daughter can come.
“Let’s just go away,” I suggest.
And then, sometime later, another text…outside of the group chat.
“We’ve been trying to put something together Mom, as a bit of a surprise, but your messages are messing things up.”
A warmth rushes through me and I smile. This is not the family of my childhood; these are my kids, and they care.
I had momentarily forgotten.