My 28th birthday was celebrated a few weeks ago. And there were no candles on my cake. Which, I declare, is the first time I can remember not blowing out candles and not making a wish that doesn't come true. I guess I've reached the age of maturity. But what I find most interesting is that I really didn't have the desire. Blowing out candles is one of my favorite birthday traditions. But it seems to me that my youthfulness went, along with my 27th year. Sometimes the child inside will come out, but it's rare, and it seems that it takes a lot more effort to sustain her. 

I do wonder if my youthful self went when the children came. Did they steal my her? Is it because there is so much child running around this house that my youthful self went into hiding? Maybe she is gone for good. I don't really like myself as a parent. Did I ever tell you that? I am not the person that I thought I would be. You never really know until you try. And I tried. And I continue to try. You know how *they* say that by the time you become empty nested you kind of have to learn how to just be a couple again? Because you have kids for so long, that you kind of forget how to be yourself? I hate that. I don't want to lose myself. That girl that I was before the children came, I kind of liked her. She was a whole heck of a lot less stressed. And a whole lot more easy going. 

I've talked before about the weekend visitations that our foster kids get with their relatives. So for four days of the week, I am a mom, and the other three days of the week I'm me. I'm beyond grateful for the break, but maybe perhaps my mind is confused. Who am I? Am I a mom? Sometimes. I've noticed that this schedule can also create confusion with the children. How we behave and act at my house is completely different than how they are allowed to behave when staying with relatives. So every couple of days, these three children are also forced to change behaviors. 

I think what frightens me most is that the only reason I feel like I am able to handle the four days with the kids is because I've had three days without them. Which is a luxury. As I've said before, most foster situations are not like ours. Not mentioning when you have your own, it's a forever gig.  

I just thought it would get easier. And it's not. Praise the heavens above that summer break is over in a week.