Me, Jack, Hampton, & Husband. Yes! That’s really us!

I celebrated my forty-second birthday this weekend. It was my first one sober in about twenty humpfh snerf years. It was one of the best times I’ve ever had. Ever.

We ran. We camped. We laughed- a lot. We slept on creaky loud cots, and it was cold in the morning. On my birthday I woke up and stood outside cooking eggs and bacon while shivering and drinking delicious coffee. It was awesome.

Y’all, camping has always been a drink fest. You know- you get there, start to unpack the car, crack open a cold beer. Slowly get wasted. Wake up hungover in the morning annoyed at the kids and the outdoorsy-ness of it all. Maybe you lost the keys to the car somehow when you were trying to hide them so they’d be safe before you passed out and now you’re dying of thirst and all the water is in the car. And you’re miles from a locksmith and the campground host isn’t around to call since you have no cell phone service. And you’re still dying of thirst, and the children are confused and hungry.  But then you finally find the keys right where you left them. I mean, that could happen. 

So….once again, sober was so much better. My oldest and I were walking to the bathroom together and he grabbed me and looked up at me and said in his sweet way, “I just love you mom.” like he does when he really does just love me, and all is right with the world. I was there for everything: not concentrating on how much beer was left, or if it was too soon for another sip of the sipping tequila. Not wondering if we should open some wine. Not wishing it was time for the children to go to bed so I could smoke cigarettes and stop worrying about them and get drunk. (Like I wasn’t already well on my way….)

I laughed so much.

I said, out loud, how much I loved people. How much it meant to me that they were there to celebrate with me. I called a friend to thank her for the flowers she gave me instead of texting her. I said “Thank you so much, this meant so much to me” to another friend who brought cake. I was so grateful to my husband who did almost all the packing and unpacking for our trip. I hugged my mom and dad and told them while I looked at them how wonderful it was for them to share the weekend with me. All of that was very brave since I love a lot, but not out loud.

I also said out loud to myself how proud I was of me. I hugged and held my sweet sober self and cried some with all the gratitude and joy sobriety brings me. I forgave myself my past more. I turned forty two. And I will always remember every sweet little bit.