Much has changed for me over the past ten birthdays. I turned 30 in a pop-up camper near the beach with Mr. Jenn. The camper rocked, but only partly because of the reasons you might think. A tropical low blew through with gusts of about fifty knots. Most people would have left, but we drove out on the beach and watched the storm roll in. The flood tide almost trapped us out there, but God invented four-wheel-drive for dumb ass rednecks like us. We made it out just in time. We didn’t know it then, but that storm foreshadowed an interesting decade.
Over the last ten birthdays, we’ve experienced the following:
- Two miscarriages—we learned that I have a miscarriage-inducing genetic configuration called Robertsonian Translocation. It means that I have 45 chromosomes, instead of 46. I’ve written a book about it—if I can ever get it published, the story will explain everything. One less chromosome, and I could have been a fish. I always knew I was special. If you read this blog, then it all makes sense now, doesn’t it?
- Two little miracles, Lil’ K. and Lil’ P.
- Two teenagers driving
- Two teenagers graduating from high school with honors
- Two serious cardiac scares with Mr. Jenn
- Two major hurricanes, a tornado, and an earthquake
- Two promotions for Mr. Jenn and numerous storm/budget-related school transfers for me
- Two ailing grandparents and one death
- Two college tuitions
- Two teaching endorsements and a Master’s degree.
We’re damned lucky. The six of us are all still here as are most of our respective extended families.
As you probably realize, we’ve had some extensive llifestyle changes as a result of the above list.
- We own a big-ass generator. I can fire it up and light the house all by myself.
- I’m hell with a Stihl chainsaw.
- We bought an elliptical—exercise keeps me sane, and Mr. Jenn alive. He can kick my ass on the thing. He’d better–he has a lot to live for.
- I finally figured out the FAFSA form. I keep forgetting what the letters stand for, but damned if I can’t get some government college money. Wait, they want it back? Shit.
- I now own more Sterilite tubs than Wal-Mart. I can move a classroom faster than a bunch of midway carnies can pack up an entire state fair.
- We grow and preserve our own food. If it grows in the garden, I’ll pickle it and put it in a Mason jar…just in case the Mayans were correct.
- Don’t get your pants in a bunch, though. I’m not afraid of some lame Apocalypse. I helped teach two teenagers how to drive, remember?
- I can take an exam and change a shitty diaper at the same time.
- I can also write papers and breastfeed simultaneously.
- We count blessings around here faster than our kids’ university raises its book prices. Who needs 46 chromosomes anyway?
Here’s to scads of wonderful birthdays in the future for us all.