32: Into the Wild

I turned 32 last week.  How does it feel? As my dad used to say, “It feels just like 31!”

Many things are the same.

Instead of perfume, I still rub “chill pill” essential oil balm onto my wrists and neck. The first time I look at my hair in the morning is typically in the rear view mirror of my car. I’m still getting comfortable crying in public and I’m still 97% afraid of the dark.

But one big thing is different. 32 officially marks my first age without my dad. 

Everything I wear or see has this “before dad died” and “after dad died” essence. I will see a shirt and think, the last time I wore this dad was still alive. I will watch a movie and think, the last time I watched this, dad was still here.

32 feels like that too. A transformative year. Before I was 32 and after.

This year is wrapped tightly in a big question mark. I don’t feel entitled to anything anymore; I’m not entitled to people or days or my health. I just damn well know to appreciate those things.

My friend Nicole said that God doesn’t waste anything. I love that sentiment and will continue to be on high alert as He uncovers the silver lining. I’m picking up the scraps of a shitty couple months, doing my best to make sense and make good out of them. I know I will be different, I hope mostly better.

Less fearful, more daring. Less anxious, more at peace. Less stuck, more in the flow.


It’s weird to think I’ve only been a mom for two years and some change. Of my 32, it feels like so many more have been in the motherhood. To my future forgetful self, this is what your family is like right now:

Maisley walked up to me while I was feeding Coura last night and casually stated: “What the fuck.” Just as breezy and matter of fact as if she were asking for a snack. I immediately called Ryan and told him we needed to implement that cussing jar ASAP.

Maisley. How do I put that girl into words. She’s more of a feeling, a motion, a dance move, a splatter of paint. I remember when she was a baby thinking that I could never be mad at her because she was too sweet and perfect. As it turns out, that wasn’t true, but I do love her even more than I did in that blissfully ignorant moment. She is whip smart and remembers everything, even the things I hope skip in one ear and out the other.

Ryan told me that Coura is the most optimistic person he knows. I’m oddly obsessed with her contagious joy right now. Her smile is so big that it looks like someone is pulling on her cheeks to stretch them as wide as they’ll go. When I pick her up, she leans slowly into my chest and if I’m lucky, brings my face close for open mouth kisses. She is already trying to crawl because as Jordan says: it’s survival of the fittest around here.

Ryan is the most optimistic person that I know. He hasn’t once complained about doing double the work right now; around the house and on the job. He is my safe place for processing grief and never lets me dip too far into never-land. He has mastered the art of Elf on the Shelf and is fired up on projects around the house. Rightfully so, his fuse with two kids can be as short as the colored Christmas lights we just strung, but his frustration leaves as quickly as it came. He is home to me, always has been, always will be.

32; into the wild we go. 

 

One thought on “32: Into the Wild

  1. Your writing has me crying one minute and laughing in the next – what a gift you have my beautiful daughter 💕
    Never stop writing xoxo

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