Today is my birthday. I'm 35 years old.
No, no, it's ok. I don't expect anyone to know or remember my birthday (well, except for my immediate family). I realize that I'm not the center of anyone else's universe. And I don't know the birthdays of even close friends, so it's ok if they don't know mine.
Usually, my birthday is pretty awful anyway. It's not that bad things happen, it's just that it doesn't feel like a special day. It's just life as usual.
Last year, for example, there was a mandatory meeting for parents with children in the baseball program on my birthday. It was at 6 pm. I didn't want to cook on my birthday, so we went out to eat. But Bill didn't get home until about 530 pm, so dinner was drive-through Wendy's which we ate in the parking lot. Bill then got into his car (we brought 2 cars) and went to the meeting, while my 4 little children and my swollen pregnant belly and I went to Baskin Robbins for ice cream. And Bill ordered me some gifts, but they were late (because he waited until the last minute, of course).
This is my typical birthday.
But this year, probably because he knew he had no free time and also because there are stores like Hallmark and CVS and others right inside the Pentagon where he has a lot of downtime, Bill took care of everything in advance, and I'm having the best birthday ever.
First of all, he wished me a happy birthday as he was kissing me good morning. Then, when I joined him downstairs for breakfast, I saw 2 presents and a card on the dining room table. Wow. Here's one of my presents:
To understand this, let's go back a few nights. I was cutting fruit to make a salad for breakfast the next day. I was careless. I sliced my finger - badly enough to need stitches. I went to the emergency room (drove myself!), but when I got there, I thought that it had started to heal. I told myself I was being a wimp (I've never had stitches) and carried on. But when I got to the actual waiting room and saw how crowded it was for 930 pm, I decided that I had better things to do and went home. I searched our first aid supplies and realized that we didn't have gauze and adhesive tape. As I put a bandaid on, I grumbled to Bill that we needed better supplies for the next time. He also said that it was a good thing that he hadn't bought me those knives I wanted for my birthday. I agreed. Surely, if I were using real good sharp knives, I would be missing the tip of my pointer finger.
My other present was a set of real good sharp knives.
Gosh, I don't even want to know how much they cost. But I am so happy to be able to get rid of the haphazard, eclectic and less-than effective collection I currently use.
But the morning gets better. Shortly after he left, Fritz woke up and presented me with a card (bought by Dad at the Pentagon) and signed by him.
About a half hour later, Jenny woke up. She came downstairs, gave me hugs and kisses and smiles and sat on my lap for several minutes. Oh, she's no longer a baby, but I love this cuddling that I get most mornings. And then she remembered something and went back upstairs. I was worried that she was going to wake the baby or her sister or make some mess...I almost called her back. But she came down a minute later and presented me with a card! So sweet.
Then Billy and then Katie followed with their cards. I guess at bedtime last night there was whispering and conspiring that I managed to miss. That's pretty amazing.
After everyone was awake, Fritz played "Happy Birthday" on the piano and everybody sang to me. Very cute. And, yes, a very happy day.