It’s That Time of Year Again


The day after tomorrow is my birthday. I will be thirty-one. And, as usual, I have given very little thought to it – well, thought as in planning anything for it. Such a change from when I was a child/teenager.

When I was little, I could hardly wait for my birthday. Birthdays meant breakfast in bed and the present that I had wanted most (or so I thought) before I went to school that morning. I also got to see my cake, made by a baker that I still buy cakes from when I visit home. That sort with the hard icing, the kind that was so delicious and sweet that you could smell the sugar when you opened the box. Lady Lovely Locks, Rainbow Brite, Care Bears, My Little Pony. She could do any design. Absolute confectionary happiness that I got once a year on my special day.

As a teenager, it meant a sleepover with my friends and not a single parental complaint as we stayed up late, at junk food, watched the sappy or silly movies, and listened to boy band music they had already heard ad nauseam almost any other day throughout the year, times about eight. My sixteenth birthday brought about a brand-new formal gown made by the best tailor I have ever had aside from Elen verch Phellip, and an all-expense-paid dinner for me and a handful of my friends and cousins, who ended up getting up on the live music stage at the restaurant and serenading me as a surprise.

In college, there were quite a few of us with birthdays in April so that usually meant a communal trip out to Applebees or the Chinese restaurant formerly known as BoBo’s for dinner and/or dessert, birthday cards in the campus and regular mail, and maybe flowers delivered with a card from my parents. And usually some teasing from my upperclassmen friends about me being “twelve”, as I was a year younger than the others in my class.

My twenty-fifth birthday brought about a surprise visit from my parents and a birthday dinner set up for me with the family and a goodly number of my best friends. My poor husband, the secret weighed heavily on him, as he was stressed to get the house cleaned the yard mowed before my parents showed up and trying to do so without telling me why was just too much for him. He finally told me the afternoon before, which sent me into a flurry of cleaning and raking the yard when he was done mowing. I was taking the next day off anyway. 🙂 It was a lovely dinner and time with friends and family.

My thirtieth birthday came along with several big changes in my life. I was a new mommy with a four-month-old baby girl. I was lucky enough to have some friends come up and take me and Ben out to dinner and dessert. It was really nice.

This year, I’m turning thirty-one, and I am terrible at planning things for myself. But, as I think about it, there is one thing that I have on repeat in my mind. Something I have to admit and do so with absolute gratitude.

I’m happy.

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