Mar 20, 2014

Happy Happy Happy

It’s “Happy Day of Endless Facebook Notifications” to me.  I had originally intended to turn the ability to post on my wall off, but people started messaging me, so I turned the feature back on. I’m a bit OCD about messages, and I was worried I’d end up having 200 chat conversations.

When I was a child, birthdays meant being woken up by my father picking me up out of bed, and dropping me back into it. Several times. And then perhaps being beaten over the head with a pillow for good measure.  I would walk downstairs and the entire kitchen would be decorated with signs my father had drawn, with stick people doing inappropriate things.  Dad was the king of inappropriate stick people.

It was lasagna and pink cake, both made by my mom.  Dad didn’t much care for lasagna, so it was a once-a-year treat. I remember in my early 20s suggesting that maybe we switch things up for my birthday and have something else for dinner, and my mom practically cried. She wanted her once-a-year special baked pasta, and my birthday was the excuse to have it, dammit.

As I got older, birthdays started to mean less and less. It felt like just another day on the calendar. Oh, I liked the presents... and going out for a nice dinner with the boyfriend of the week was nice. But it stopped feeling special.  Until...

For my 30th birthday, I decided I wanted to do something special. My then-husband and I traveled back to my post-college hometown, Grand Rapids, to gather together with friends old and new, eat at my favorite restaurant (San Chez Bistro), get drunk on Sangria, and celebrate.

It was a helluva celebration because... nine months later, along came Quinn. And with his arrival came the departure of my birthday celebrations. I think once I became a Mom, it sort of became all about the kids, and less about me.  A gift was a shower and a nap, and good take out being delivered.

This year, I’ve been sick since the end of January.  Nothing major, just the same old asthma flare ups I get every year. But it’s sticking around as steadfastly as the snow, and I’m, well, crabby is an understatement. I’m somewhere between “raving bitch” and “complete lunatic”.

It’s been a long winter.

But the day dawned and a happy birthday was wished to me numerous times by people I love and who love me. I grumped about it for a little while, and then I got to thinking how lucky I am.

I am here, when many people I cared about are not.

My kids are here: happy, healthy, and thriving.

I have a man who loves me and does his best to take care of me, especially when I’m too distracted to take care of myself.

I have a friends who support me, love me, laugh with and at me, and enrich my life in every way.

I have a job in my field, doing what I love, with coworkers I adore.

I’m doing well in college. I never thought I’d go back and finish - it felt too intimidating. Now, with the guidance of my friend and advisor (taskmaster) Lisa, I am not only planning on finishing - my final goal is Dr. Andrea Sargent, Ph.D.

I’ve got it pretty good.

So, yes. Break out the confetti - bring on the cake. It’s my birthday, bitches! Let’s celebrate!!

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