Friday, May 24, 2013
Eric had to be out of town, finishing up a project they've been working on in Bear Lake. He left specific directions for the kids on how to start my morning. Cannon woke up without my help, told me to go to my room, gathered the rest of the kids but left Massi with me, warm and cuddly on my lap. After setting up, they opened my door and sang 'happy birthday' with Eric on speakerphone so he could join in. At the table was a cake and present from each of my kids. (I told Eric to take the kids to the stationary section of Home Goods or Marshalls for presents.) Laine and Sommer chose an outfit for me and it fits. They did better at shopping for me than I do for myself.
Ridge had hidden the cake in the bottom drawer of his desk. Since it was packed full of sugar it survived just fine in the dark from Monday through Thursday. Everyone had cake for breakfast. What a way to start the school day, but they were all happy and kind of sick.
My visiting teachers brought me lunch from Cafe Rio and we had a lovely time eating great salad and chatting while kids played. I was so looking forward to that lunch.
I'll pause here and say that last year on my birthday I went to Costa Vida with Massi and Sommer, bought my own lunch, then went and bought cupcakes from a bakery to share later with the family. I remember stopping in a park with the kids on the way home. I tried to make it a happy day, to make it seem special, but it felt ordinary and at the end of the day I felt sad. I shouldn't have been selfish like that but I was, since birthdays are a day when the day feels different, like you can be a movie star for a day without chores to do or calories to count or a budget to balance. I didn't make many friends over the year, I was in survival mode, first with Eric working out of state and then gearing up to move for the second time in a year. I needed friends but I didn't reach out to anyone and never connected with anyone long enough to establish a friendship. So the day was lonely. I heard from my family and we ate dinner at Eric's parent's and I felt love from them but I craved more, what? Attention? Specialness?
So back to this year, several people stopped by with small gifts and well-wishes. I was so surprised. I've tried harder to reach out but I'm not very good at it. (Honestly, the thought of going into church and having to make conversation with someone I didn't know very well was starting to make me sick. So weird. I'm getting weirder as I get older.) Not that I told anyone, they must have noticed my name on the ward newsletter in the birthday section. (All the birthdays for people in the ward are listed.) And then they came over and made me feel like maybe I can make friends again, I'm not so lame at it as I was feeling, fearing.
And then my sweet mother-in-law surprised me around after school time, drove the hour drive with a cooler full of dinner so I wouldn't have to cook or be alone on my birthday. She brought a niece and nephew with her so the kids had some fun cousin time, and a cute planter with flowers in it, yellow daisy types that we had in our front garden when I was little. Then the biggest surprise was that Eric got back by 6:30. We were all happy to see him again and glad that this return marked the end of his traveling for a long time.
Around 8:30, when I was putting Massimo to bed, the lady who I used to do scouts with (I'm primary secretary now) stopped by with leftover cupcakes for our family from The Sweet Tooth Fairy. She brought them as a thank you for subbing for her this week at scouts at the last minute, didn't know it was my birthday. It was so fun to tell her she picked the perfect day and way to thank me. Today I ate three of those cupcakes, two strawberry and one coconut. The good news is that there are still two cupcakes in the fridge, one from my niece and one from a friend, both from Sweet Tooth. I'll eat those tomorrow.
I didn't even have to try and the day turned out special. I feel very loved and very blessed and very grateful.