I have been blessed this past week by starting my 38th year of life. When you're little, birthdays are a big deal. It's your one day to be the center of attention. Your day and yours alone. But after you get to a certain age, birthdays aren't such a big deal. Dinner, a few presents, cake, and maybe a candle or two. If that. But the day comes and goes with little fanfare. I spent many years like that. But a few years ago, I decided to make a bigger deal of my birthday. It still might just be dinner and cake and a few presents, but in my mind it is my special day. A day to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next. I have begun to enjoy turning a year older, not at all worried that that number means I'm older, but enjoying that it means that I'm a year wiser. This year was like that. I went to work as usual. (Well, mostly as usual. I was dressed like a Star Bellied Sneetch*.) I taught phonics and numbers. I had recess duty. I was mom and wife just like any other day. We went out to dinner and I got a free birthday sundae complete with a candle on top. My sweet family softly sang "Happy Birthday" to me. Then I went home and got a bag of birthday goodies** from my husband and kids. Then I put kids to bed and made lunches and did all my nightly preparations for the next day. So besides the yummy steak and free sundae, and a little extra attention from my family, it was just any other Thursday. On the outside. But for me it was my birthday. And I felt special. Because I wanted to. I laughed a little more and sang a little louder and enjoyed the little things. It was my day.
*It was Dr. Seuss day at school and I decided to be a Star Bellied Sneetch. So if you ever see someone dressed strangely on a day that's not Halloween, just assume they're an elementary school teacher. We do that sometimes.
**My birthday bag included a stuffed flower, Peep flavored lip balm, Twilight bracelets, a pack of mini Twix bars, and the first season of Glee on dvd. Nice, huh?
And to make things even better, Friday my sister friends took me to dinner and a movie to celebrate. We had yummy hamburgers and fries at Red Robin and talked and laughed and drank glasses and glasses of Diet Coke. We discussed who we would be if we were movie characters. We had purse show and tell. And we laughed some more. Then we walked over to the theater and saw "Alice in Wonderland." It was sooo goooood. Even though we were the fourth oldest group of people there. There were a lot of teenagers. A lot. They were noisy and energetic and just a little scary. (Not because they were really scary, but the thought that I will soon have teenagers in my house was scary. Like panic attack inducing scary even.) Then to finish the night, we went to Baskin Robins (since Dairy Queen was closed) and I got a waffle cone with a scoop of my favorite ice cream ever, Nutty Coconut. And we laughed some more. It was a good night, a good, good night.
And to keep the birthday celebration going, Tuesday's family dinner night is my family birthday. We are going to my favorite Mexican restaurant and then to mom and dad's house for coconut cream pie. Yeah for birthdays!