Monday, May 18, 2009

Go shorty, it's your birthday.

I am 28.

I was hoping this day would come and go and no one would remember. No such luck. We were almost in the clear 2 days ago and not a word had been spoken about it. But then, my Mom said she wanted to make me birthday dinner. Some could make is Sunday. Some could make it Monday. No one day would allow everyone to make it. Let's just wait till next weekend, I said, hoping that would be enough time to forget about my birthday and move on to the other birthdays that are taking place on the weekend. How about tonight, she asked. Shit. I had no where to go, no plans I couldn't break, no reason it couldn't work. That is how I was tricked in to a birthday party.

I woke up this morning, on the 18th of May, and felt like a truck ran over me in the night. You should have seen my hair! Nick has gotten quite good and unfortunately, quite used to seeing me look like a Gremlin in the morning. We made coffee, he hugged me, I cleaned up (barely) and sat down to check my Facebook wall posts because I knew there would be some. It's days like this when we HATE Facebook because we don't real presents and cards in the mail anymore; we get Facebook messages if we are lucky and free gifts, like Lil' Green Patch babies with flowers strapped to their heads.

I don't want you to think that I'm an ungrateful snot for not wanting to have my birthday acknowledged by the woman who birthed me and all of her other loud relatives (my siblings, etc.) But I knew it would turn in to a clone of what Grandma would have done, if she hadn't of died earlier this year, and I didn't want that.

My Grandma never skipped a birthday, a holiday, a reason to party. My aunt told a story at her wake of how they used to celebrate Washington's birthday with a cherry pie. She never skipped spoiling me for Halloween or Valentine's Day or any day to make cookies and eat Crunch. In college, my roommate and I would eagerly await our care packages of homemade diabetic coma cookies. Yum.

And this year, being the first year she was gone, I didn't want to have a cheap imitation of what she would have done. Not yet. I'd rather have started a new tradition of chinese food for my birthday. Fortune cookies for everyone!

I won't lie and say that I haven't felt God's arms wrapped tightly around me in the last few days. He knows my heart, he knows my tears. It's probably His fault I'm a crier, anyway. But like Saturday, when I was given an unexpected Starbucks gift card--which always makes my brain happy. And then my favorite almost-family member came to visit and played with my kids until they passed out. Two times this weekend I played tag with my kids. We laughed so hard that we almost peed our pants and laid in the grass until ants were crawling in our hair. Yesterday I took a nap and Nick made us fancy egg sandwiches for lunch. This morning, my kids slept in till 10am, which is a miracle, for sure. And while they were sleeping, I got to read this and this and this and this and this and this - all my favorite blogs- in peace. While doing that, my mom brought me a Grande soy Latte from Starbucks and a gift certificate to our favorite restaurant on the planet, Brewsters. The kicker is that she will babysit the kids Saturday night and keep them till Sunday!

On a normal year, I would be picked up by Grandma in about an hour and we would go to lunch at Lula's or one of our other regular spots. We'd go shopping and she'd let me pick out all of my own presents - something I enjoyed more and more as I got older. When we started to get worn, we'd get some coffee and reevaluate to see if we had one more store in us. Except for the few years we were in California, I never missed a birthday date with my Grandma.

She always bought funny cards. She thought aging was humorous and something to be laughed at. When Papa gave me a card on Saturday night, it started off by saying "It's not a year for a funny card." But maybe that is exactly what it is.

Maybe we should watch funny movies till our cheeks hurt and dance around till our old creeky legs give out. Maybe we should play tag and stand on our heads until we pass out. Maybe we should fake laugh until the real laughs manage to break through.

Maybe I should do another sommersault- so my kids can laugh at my flailing legs as they hit the air. Maybe I should watch all my favorited youtube videos until I cry. Maybe I should pee my pants. (Due to extreme laughing, of course!)

I must go. I'm meeting Papa for lunch in 45 minutes and I've still got the Medusa hair-do. If I cry in front of him, who the hell cares? Life's too short to hold in so many tears -- it'll just give me wrinkles too fast!

Enjoy some of my favorite videos today.

Paul Potts
Dream Big
Spinach or Spanish?