Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Reality at 32 years

I have another blessing to add to my list of good things that happen when you have children:  You don't have to get excited about your birthday because a little person will do it for you.  It's contagious and a good thing.

Truth be told, I was feeling pretty meh about my upcoming birthday, nothing terrible and nothing great.  Reality shifts, which is neither unexpected nor problematic.  There's not a lot to look forward to simply by notching another year on ye old belt of life.  You get some cake (which you probably make yourself or buy yourself) and some ice cream (again, on your grocery tab).  You get to go to work or stay home--nothing special just the usual.  You inevitably have to state your birthday some time either right before or right after the day to the pharmacist or whomever, which seems pretty obvious to you that IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! but then again, you kind of hope that the pharmacy tech or the cashier recognizes that IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY! and say something to you.  They might.  Probably not.  And that's okay either way.  It's fairly gauche to walk around with a "Birthday Girl!" sticker on your shirt throughout the day, and you certainly don't get a birthday pencil from your boss.  So if you want anyone in your normal day-to-day to notice your BIG DAY, you have to be kind of subtle about it.  "Oh, your cousin has the same birthday as I do next week...I'm not sure what I'm doing that night since I might be celebrating my birthday." 

But kids are anti-subtle.  They'll announce to the world that "Mommy has a birthday next week!" and "My mommy is going to be 32 soon."  It's an acceptable form of paparazzi for average folk who could use a little dose of that in their lives.  Kids will talk about your upcoming birthday every day for a week prior.  They'll have to be muzzled outside your bedroom door lest they wake you up too soon in their utter excitement to present your breakfast in bed.  They'll sing to you at least 3 times.  They'll give you bonus hugs...lots of them.  They'll call you their favorite mommy in the whole wide world while strangling you.  They'll even be willing to help you pick out what kind of ice cream you want, if you plan ahead. 

In short, they will absolutely take another same-old day and turn it into a snazzy little gift of their own making.  They'll insist on coming with you to the library even though you had intended to gift yourself the luxury of a child-free venture.  They'll dribble copious amounts of crumbs around while telling you this is the greatest cupcake ever (that they helped to make).  They'll even decide that the day is too exciting to take a nap, blessing you with some cranky child time all for you. 

There is nothing like a child to make your birthday feel like her own, which we all know is a very, very exciting thing.  So the reality is that even though you might be searching for the owner's manual for your chest freezer which is suddenly not keeping your birthday ice cream as rock solid as you prefer while trying to eat lunch, there are a lot of kid smiles that make the day pretty sparkly.  That's a pretty snazzy gift, indeed.

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