June 29... drumroll... my birthday!

The title of this post is intended to be sarcastic. For those of you who know me, bringing attention to my birthday is not my usual M.O.

But, today I have a slow day and time to write and think and feel, so blogging it where I find myself. I am home alone until this afternoon. I'm streaming Jack Johnson radio and enjoying the sounds of the songbirds in the trees. Lovely.

In the age of social media, people know when it's your birthday and messages have steadily been coming in. It is nice to feel seen and loved. My mom, techie that she is, even posted a picture of me as a toddler to Facebook! Do I look like Shannon or Erin? Maybe a little bit of both.

In my mind, my birthday signals the beginning of the 4th of July holiday. Someone please tell me that the 4th of July is not the middle of the summer. I feel like we're just getting started.

Dan will arrive home tonight and make dinner for us and our friends. It looks to be a beautiful day for sitting and chatting.

Last weekend, Erin and I had a girls trip to Pelican Lake with the senior squad/mom squad. There are six girls who are incoming seniors on this year's volleyball team and us moms like to think of ourselves as a team, too.  While the weather didn't exactly cooperate, we had a great time and the girls managed to get in the lake a few times. (There may have been a late night swim where clothing was optional).

This crew has been with Erin, and me, since Shannon passed away. That first spring after Shannon passed, this group of girls convinced Erin to give volleyball a try. She was brutal that first year and couldn't get a serve over the net, but being surrounded by this group helped her heal.

Year by year, Erin got better and now, as a senior, she believes she can play a regular role on the varsity volleyball team. Volleyball has been a big positive in our life after Shannon.

Wait... I was talking about me and my birthday! Just kidding. Any mom would rather talk about her kids as an extension of themselves. It's what we do.

We came home from Pelican on Monday, Erin played in a golf tournament Tues. (just to brag a little, she won her age division with a career best 74 :), worked yesterday and today, and then tomorrow she heads off the the Girls Junior National Volleyball Tournament in Minneapolis with her club team. This weekend will bring an end to the 8 month club season. Uff da! Lots of reps for Erin, which was her goal, but she's ready to be done with club ball and focus on Mayo VB.

Erin and I spent some time last week organizing college thoughts. Erin is exploring the option of college golf, so we made a list of schools that might offer the degree she wants and a chance to play. We'll see where it goes. It's an exciting/scary/nerve wracking time...

Erin leaving the nest has always just been a concept, but now I feel like the days are numbered. Her friends who graduated from high school this year have been doing their orientation days and creating their schedules for their fall semester at college. A year from now, that will be Erin. I'm not ready yet. I hope I can get there.

Erin and I have a special bond. Our circumstances mean it's often just the two of us. She left me a handwritten note on my desk today. I'm going to keep it forever.

Happy Birthday Mom

I know birthdays aren't a big deal for you, but just know this crappy card doesn't do you justice.

I can't thank you enough for everything you do for me. You live a double life as my best friend, but also my mom and role model as well. I aspire to be half the woman you are someday. You somehow manage to be kind and compassionate as well as funny and kick-ass.

I love you because you're an amazing woman and person, and I'll never be able to thank the world enough for giving me you as my mom.

I hope your 48th is one of the best.

Love, E