I forgot your birthday.

I promise I did.

And I will forget again.

I will have the best intentions and will think about bringing you a cake or flowers or a gift with a card. I will even come up with the perfect gift basket idea in my head. Or I will make a plan to take you out for drinks, lunch, or even dinner. Or I will make a mental note to give you a phone call or send you a snail mail card. Or…

But I will forget. I promise.

I will try to buy you a gift. But I won’t.

Because…kids. Kids who can’t go potty and can’t feed themselves. Kids who need help every second of every day. Kids who need to be buckled into carseats and unbuckled, lifted into strollers or grocery carts or mall carts. Kids who need snack after snack after snack. Kids who whine to go home or to go to the park or to run down the hall of the mall with Mama chasing after them. In the end, I will forget why I even came shopping in the first place.

I will try to take you out for dinner. But I won’t.

Because…kids. They will need to have their bedtime routine and Mama needs to be there or it will not go smoothly. Or they will end up going to bed way too late and then the next day will be shot. So why bother messing that up? Or they didn’t sleep the night before so this mama is just plain too tired and crashes at 8 pm.

I will try to give you a phone call. But I won’t.

Because…kids. I will start dialing and they will interrupt. We will begin to talk and they will want to take the phone or talk in the phone or they will surely need me for something at least every 10 seconds. So I will wait for nap time. Which is when I will be relishing in the silence and I will simply not have the energy to even pick up the phone, much less chat.

I promise I have the best intentions. And the guilt? It comes on strong when I see the Facebook notification for your birthday the day of. Oh, how I wish I had remembered. But…kids.

So, to all my family and friends in the year of 2017, whether it has been or it is to come…Happy Birthday. I do love you. I promise, one day, when my kids are grown up and are able to tie their own shoes and wipe their own bums, we will celebrate. I promise it will be awesome. But for now? Please give me a break. Please understand. Please know that I do love you.

Happy {belated} Birthday.

Esther Vandersluis

Esther is a Canadian writing from Hamilton, Ontario, living in a sea of pink as a girl mom to three. Find her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/beautifulalarm) where you will find writing for stay-at-home moms, moms with littles, sleep-deprived moms, moms feeding babies, and babies with failure to thrive, all under the umbrella of faith in Jesus Christ.