I noticed something after I had children. Before I became a mom, my own birthdays were a big deal. The milestones: turning 13, Sweet 16, 18, 21 and…well, 21 is really the last big milestone, unless you count 25 and a decrease in insurance rates.

But one of my children has a birthday around this time of year and this particular birthday, while not a typical milestone, is still a pretty big deal. But what I noticed after having children is that no longer do my own birthdays indicate aging to me. It’s my children’s birthdays that do that.

I’m in my 30s. I’m not ancient, by any means, but I’m not a starry-eyed young girl anymore, either. But when my birthday comes around, I don’t feel any older – in fact, there are times when I don’t feel much older than about 16. But when my child’s birthday rolls around, I do feel older. I find myself thinking “Can it really be X years?” and “Wow, I can’t believe I’m old enough to have a child who’s X years old already!”

I look back on how many years have passed between whatever age I once was and the age I am now, and it seems like it took forever to get here. But when I look back at the birth of my child and where we are now, it’s like the blink of an eye. I remember all the details of the birth and so it seems strange to think we can be this far out from that day.

I love my children so very much, but there is one thing I’d like to say to them: STOP GROWING!

Happy Birthday to my baby!