Thursday, April 21, 2011

So you say it's your birthday....

Yes, it is -- today (tonight, actually, if we're going to get specific), I turn 41. I have had, so far, an amazing day. The kids were as excited about my birthday as they get about their own. They each had very special presents for me: Caroline had chosen large pink and yellow butterfly earrings...they are so perfectly her. Of course I am wearing them, and she is so touched that she keeps saying, exuberantly, "Mommy, I LOVE that you love the earrings. I love you, and I love the earrings, and I love that you love them."

Jack used his construction set to make me a ruler. It is beyond adorable -- it has hinges and randomly spaced hash marks, and it's numbered 1 to 43. He told me I can use it to measure myself, since we measure the kids on their birthdays. I don't have the heart to tell him that I'm taller than 43 inches, even on a bad day.

Whit decided to make his own cards. They were gifts in themselves -- one had a picture of Snoopy, his area of illustrating expertise, and the words, "Happy birthday to the wife who has everything." On the inside, it said, "Especially me." How can you not love a guy that gives you that card? (He will read this and say, "WHAT?? I gave you a bike! I gave you an iPod docking station! I am taking you out to dinner! I did NOT just give you cards!!!" But I love the cards.)

The kids and I, along with some friends, just rode bikes for a few miles, then had lunch, then rode home. It's a gorgeous spring day, and riding under the canopy of cherry blossoms was almost a religious experience. (We tried to have a longer ride but Jack finally said, "Mommy, I'm only six. My legs hurt.")

Tonight we're going out to dinner. The kids picked a sort-of adult restaurant because the chef makes excellent mac and cheese, which is the holy grail of any children's menu.

All in all, this day has made me feel loved. And truth be told, this birthday stands in stark contrast to my 40th, which launched me into my midlife crisis. Once both kids were in school, I was staring at long days of Costco runs and listening to my dad cough up a lung in the basement.

I'm not going to get all goopy and sappy about happiness and trying to live your dream, but so far, I can say that starting the daily writing of this blog has (perhaps delayed, but hopefully) deflected the midlife crisis of those empty nest days. And if the midlife crisis comes roaring back, at least I’ve got a place to write about it!

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