Last week I turned 33. I lay in bed longer than usual that morning. Partly because it was my birthday, partly because Justin was still there – his arm around me – and partly because I was reluctant to be officially 33.
At what point does that happen? I now occassionally forget how old I am, is it 32 or 33? What year was I born? What year is it? OK I’m 32 – yep pretty sure I’m 32, except now I’m 33.
I heard the boys as they galloped down the stairs and prepared myself to get up. Their footsteps had been rambling around upstairs for awhile and I knew they’d be getting hungry. Josh had let Max sleep in his bed that night, “So he’ll wake me up instead of you Mom.” That boy is already so wise, giving his Mom the gift of sleep.
Justin rolled out of bed planted a kiss on my head and wished me a happy birthday. “What can I do for you today,” he asks
“I just don’t want to have to do anything,” a day off. He smiled.
“I’d take the day off if I could,”
“I know,” Mostly I just have to give myself permission to take the day off. Happy birthday to myself.
He headed off to get ready for work and I followed him a few seconds later. What says 33? I looked over my clothes, trying on this and that, changing at least 3 times. I finally settled on a white shirt, jeans and red lipstick. Clothes that make me feel most like myself.
I headed toward the kitchen and almost stumbled on the noise maker outside of my door.
“Close the door go back to bed,” Josh yelled.
I quickly obeyed after catching a glimpse of him in front of the skillet, Max on the counter, “helping”.
I grinned as I crawled back into bed in my jeans. They arrived a few seconds later. French toast, scrambled eggs and hot chocolate.
“Don’t worry I pulled off all the mold for you,” said Josh with a grin from ear to ear. They were so proud of their accomplishment. So excited to serve.
“Thanks bud,”I replied with a glance at Justin, who just smiled. The boys cuddled and chatted before heading off to get their own breakfasts. Justin came back in a few minutes later with a plastic bag and discreetly took care of the French Toast for me. He’s a keeper.
After that it was a usual and not a usual day. I babysat, but took my charges to the park and felt no guilt in sitting in the sun and reading instead of playing, a visit from Grandpa, lunch with friends, a nap, more reading by the fire.
I got a “Happy Birthday! Birthday girl!” from Max’s best friend along with a picture he drew himself. He waltzed in with his wrapped present in his hands, after I’d opened and admired it, he spotted another present on the counter. “What’s in that one?”
I showed him the new shoes from my Mom.
He shrugged, “Mine’s better.” and went out to play.
I got a “Happy Birfday, Neecole!” from my 2 year old nephew Jackson that melted my heart.
Then after gymnastics and basketball practice we settled around the table for fondue. Justin had gone to several stores to gather all the supplies. My sister Jessie and my Mom prepped everything while the boys were at basketball and Anna was at gymnastics. I got to hold baby Benny and watch.
We agreed that it was the best birthday dinner ever.Anna didn’t like the cheese, so she settled on strawberries and chocolate and was quite content with that choice.That morning Josh had asked me, “Mom if you could do anything you wanted today what would you do?”
He had me floored for a bit. Anything? really anything I wanted? Would I want a day to myself to read and write? Yes, but then I would miss my kids and Justin…. Would I want to go do something fun with my family? Yes, but I would also want to have some precious alone time.
I settled on getting on a flight to Peru with the whole family. Since that wasn’t an option I think what actually happened was a great second.
I got many birthday wishes that day, but here are two of my favorites:
“Happy birthday dear friend may the day bring you a good book and a long nap.”
“Happy birthday to my new friend, may your children take long naps and the writing muses smile down on you.”
They know me well.