Birthdays. Celebrations of life. Mile markers. Age indictators. In the U.S., certain birthdays hold more significance than others. Sweet 16. Graduating at 18. The drinking and voting year of 21. The ability to rent a car at 25.
In Germany, the “Runde Geburtstagen” are celebrated. Years with round numbers, such as 10, 20, 30, etc., receive special attention. This year, I celebrate the “Runde Geburstag” of 30. At the approach of it, I wonder how I feel at this change of age. Turning 30 means I am forever leaving my “20’s” in the dust. I’m now in the ‘early 30’s’ category, the ‘married with kids’ statistic, and the ‘working mom’ demographic.
I feel a twinge of sadness at the closing of the college age years, the late night hangouts, and progressively, the freedom of simply being “me and Thomas” as a couple. Thomas and I discussed recently how different we are from our younger selves. I sometimes ponder who I was as a 20 year old. I chuckle at my ignorance. But I can give grace to that girl and see that her insecurity will fade. She will find her path.
So, for me, 30 begins a wonderful stage in life. Yes, it’s true. I see it, even though I’m also in a “learning curve.” Never been a parent! Oh the worries and fears that accompany this venture! Am I doing okay? Is the baby healthy? How am I treating my husband? I am engaging in more vulnerability. My heart has to be open to discussions and emotions and feedback on a whole new, grander level.
Still, I’ve dreamed of these moments. I’ve long wanted to be “mom” to someone— to be a family—to discover the world anew through the eyes of a small one. I can’t wait to do road trips with my boys. I look forward to Christmas traditions. I can see Rafael learning to walk while grasping onto Guthrie for support. Entering 30 while having a supportive husband, a healthy baby, and a loving dog takes away the sting of reaching a pinnacle of age. 30 years have passed. Perhaps the grace of God will give me another 30. For now, I plan on relishing each day, living in His grace right now. Grace to stumble. Grace to make mistakes. Grace to change.
I struggle as a parent. I frustrate my husband at times. I am hard on myself. I forget to be thankful. I am appallingly selfish. But grace isn’t for the perfect, the righteous, and the siness. Grace is for the broken, the messed up, the cracked vessels. Grace is for me. God bestowed it on my 20 year old self. He’s giving it again immeasurably to my 30 year old self.
That’s a reason to celebrate. Bring on the cake!