Another birthday has come and gone. But this year, it was different.
Having a birthday in December often sucks. When you are young, it is often too close to Christmas and so some people will give you one present and announce, “That’s your birthday present AND your Christmas present!” as though they should be congratulated for saving themselves some cash and effort while simultaneously cheating a small child of fun. Other times, if you have a party, other kids are often too sick with your regular winter ailments to come, or the weather is too bad, or their families are too busy with holiday stuff, or whatever. Usually, everywhere you go you are bombarded with Christmas decorations or Christmas music or the like, so it never really feels like your birthday is any sort of an event.
But that is not how it has been for me, not in recent years anyway. Oh no. Normally — well, since I have known BDH, anyway — my birthday tends to be an event. BDH took it on as his mandate to spoil me on my birthday, and I have, of course, revelled in the spoils. (This is especially true of the years he has spent at his current job where, at least in early years, he had to be away at a trade show for my birthday. So the event may have been on a different day, but it was of epic proportions.)
But in recent years, I have not felt much like birthday-ing anymore. Part of it was that we did not have tons of money, since we had one income and our money was going towards infertility treatments, or adoption fees, or just everyday bills. But part of it was that it was hard. There was always that feeling that I was getting old, and we had no children. And the older I got, the worse that feeling became, as the chances of us having biological children dwindled to nothingness.
And then this year came.
I woke, on my birthday, and as I stood in the kitchen having a cup of coffee, I listened to my daughter “playing with St. Mary” as they say in Ethiopia. She was babbling to her pals up in her crib in the early morning hours.
It was the best birthday present ever.
There is now a family in our house. There is a child’s laughter. I have waited years for this. So having that kind of a start to my birthday was fantastic.
Now, the day was also full of errands. Stinkerbelle had a doctor’s appointment. I needed to go to get an emissions test on my car and get the license renewed. We needed groceries. The cats needed kibble. Laundry was piling up that needed to be done.
Not exactly the makings of a great birthday. But, as I moved laundry from washer to dryer and Stinkerbelle played with some toys on the floor, I stopped and looked at her. I realized that there was nothing I wanted more than her for my birthday. She is the perfect birthday gift.
BDH asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told him that there was nothing.
So this perfect and perfectly normal day went on. I had no regrets. This was a great birthday.
However, BDH had other plans, and came home, arms laden with food and a birthday ice cream cake and presents. (DVDs! YAY! Of some BBC series! Whee! And some delicious chocolate, of course.) He is a romantic at heart, and it was not a proper birthday without presents and food and six –count’ em — SIX birthday cards.
So my perfect birthday was turning into something fairly wonderful. I cried. It was so lovely, all this fuss he was making over me, and I was very touched.
So yeah, I am older. But right now, this year’s birthday is looking like it will be remembered as one of the best ever.