Yesterday was my 51st birthday. Despite the fact that I keep getting older, I am one of those people who really, really loves birthdays. I don't want people to overlook them. I don't say, oh no, don't worry about it, friends. Nope, I like birthdays and I relish every card, email, and gift. It isn't a factor of being greedy or wanting "stuff", I just like feeling like one day out of the year is a special one.
So, here is how my friends and family made it special for me this year.
In the days leading up to my birthday, I received two wonderdul boxes in the mail from faraway friends sending me gifts like scented soaps, beautiful file folders, personalized cards and more--they made me oooh and ahhh. The day before my birthday my darlin AmiMental brought me a lovely framed photo for my wall. Is it my children in their splendor? No. Is it my handsome hubby? Well, yes. But it's a rather candid shot of him wearing my bra on his head. Yes, it was taken months ago by cell phone and shared with her. She honored the moment by blowing it up and framing it. With friends like that . . . .
Just after midnite on Sunday/Monday, my kids and Jon sang to me. I was wakened Monday morning by the hubby singing to me. A colorful note was on our bedroom door. Coming downstairs, I was delighted to find my children all had gifts. (They even used THEIR OWN MONEY for them. Is that a sign of maturity, or what?)
Nicole gave me a carved wooden pen from Multnomah Falls that said, "Mom" and of course, the perfect card.
Caspian gave me a stone bracelet from Multnomah Falls and a handwritten card I cherish.
Coryn gave me a diachronic glass locket from Saturday Market and a lovely note.
Joseph gave me a gorgeous paperweight I had coveted at Pike's Street Market when we went to Seattle a few weeks ago. Oh, and a huge card that plays "Bad to the Bone" so loudly, it vibrates!
Then we went out and spent the day having fun. I didn't do a smidgen of work, which was fun. We went to four Goodwills, had lunch and dinner out, stopped by Title Wave Bookstore and the Mystery Gallery (new age card shop). In other words, almost all of my favorite shopping spots. I came home with a variety of wonderful treasures from a Winnie the Pooh snowglobe to new shirts, stationery to plaques for the wall. Shockingly, I know, NO purses. Of course, I also bought 2 pairs of jeans for my hubby, 3 dresses for Nicole, and countless new jeans for the two boys. After all, birthdays are for sharing as well, right?
Came home at 8 exhausted but happy. Then, Nicole's Jon came over, bringing a gorgeous red rose, a Pooh card and a gift card to Barnes and Noble. What a perfect ending to the day. Instead of sitting at the computer and getting some work done before bedtime, I curled up and watched a movie on the couch, got a great foot massage from Nicole and read my book. As I drifted off to sleep, I took a moment to reflect on the voices I misssed today. I missed my oldest daughter telling me happy birthday. I haven't heard that for several years now and one would think it would hurt less with time, but nope. Not yet. I missed hearing my parents call me and sing. I miss their voices every day. Time hasn't done much to dull that one either. I miss the voices of several friends who are gone now . . . Rosemary, Lee, and others. All of them, however, help me to be more grateful for the voices I still hear.
Today I am making myself return to reality. Coryn's belated birthday party is this afternoon, so I will be coordinating teenagers, as well as doing a phone interview for an article and going to Powell's to get some important research done. But you can bet I will go through the whole day with a smile on my face. Birthdays are important and the people in my life helped me to realize that I was important too. What a great gift, huh?