OK, initially, all week, I have been saying that the best present I was getting for my birthday was an extra hour of sleep. Pretty cool when "Fall Back" happens on your birthday, right? But then I realized I had an even better present. Let me tell you about it.
Many people make big plans or have crazy parties for your birthday. Believe me, I have been there. And there is not anything wrong with that. At all. If you want to have a huge blowout of a celebration, go for it! And feel free to invite me, too. But this year, I hadn't really even thought about what I wanted to do for my birthday. Having your first child 10 days before your birthday means that for the rest of your lives, her birthday will be the big exciting thing happening. And by the time your birthday actually rolls around, well, let's just say it is not nearly the big deal that it used to be.
I do get excited about birthdays and holidays. I like anything special and fun. But after Jessa's first birthday, it hit me. On my daughter's (and now my son's) birthday, I can celebrate a pretty huge accomplishment - I made a person and brought it into the world. There aren't many things that are bigger than that, know what I mean? On my birthday, my Momma did all the work. SO I guess I am saying that once I had children, their birthdays mean way more to me than mine. I am betting lots of other Moms feel that way, too. (AND Daddys, too. . .)
So this year the only thing that we had planned was going to see a movie. The new Dreamworks movie, Megamind was coming out on the day before my birthday. Of course, Jessa wanted to see it in "eye-popping 3 D." (and yes, that is the way she says it. Every time.) And David had a work thing at night, so we picked the 1:15 show time.
We slept a little late and enjoyed a crisp fall morning. We watched some Saturday morning cartoons. We ate some muffins. We all got cleaned up and ready to go see the movie. It took the usual 20 minutes to get the children in the car. We had the same "Oh, wait, I forgot my shoes." and the "I think I need to potty." trips back into the house. We got into the theater and it still took us too long to place our order for refreshments, even though we all ended up ordering the exact same thing we always order. We all wore are cute nerdy 3-D glasses. The kids took off their shoes in the movie. We laughed at the movie. They told me when it was their "favorite part from the commercial." We were the last ones to make it out of the theater because it takes a while to find your shoes in the dark.
We came back home. And the kids played all afternoon. I could hear them laughing and making up stories and characters as they went along. I did spend some time just laying around catching up on some TiVo that I would not normally let myself do. It was my birthday after all. They argued with me when I would not let them go outside without socks on. Since David was out for the evening with that work thing, we just drove through Burger King for supper.
And Spencer picked out a cake mix and can of icing at the commissary that he thought they should bake for me. So after supper, we all baked my cupcakes. They did the stuff they usually do: breaking the eggs (in a separate bowl so I can pick out the shells), pouring in the oil, licking the beaters, and disappearing when it is time to wash up the dishes. They each iced about 2 cupcakes, and I finished the rest. They wanted to put a candle in a cupcake and sing to me. So they did.
And we all ate way too many chocolate cupcakes! I made them take baths to wash off the chocolate. I reminded them 22 times to brush their teeth. They got on warm jommies and snuggled with me in my bed until they fell asleep. I carried them to their beds and tucked them in.
And I realized that all the things we did on my special birthday were not too different than the things we do every other day of the year. And instead of being sad or disappointed that my "special" day was so ordinary, I got the happiest, warmest, most amazing feeling. I felt so blessed that all of my ordinary days are so special. I get to spend every day with my favorite people. I get to watch my children play. I get to listen to them laugh and sing. I get to break up petty sibling arguments. I get to swell with pride as they grow into these marvelous people. I get to help them learn how to bake and remember to brush their teeth. I get to watch them sleep and hear them breathe. I get to help tie shoes and zip coats. I get to wipe noses and fix snacks. I get to trip over their toys that are covering up every piece of floor in the den. I get to hear them tell me that they love me and feel their little arms around my neck as they hug me. What a gift! What a precious blessing! And if that is not the best way to spend your birthday or any other day, I don't know what is.