Tuesday, November 11, 2008
the new, older me
Today is my birthday. And you know what that means! More about me.
Suffer. Or don't read - up to you.
Notice anything different? Yep. A little darker. Cheaper than plastic surgery and less permanent than a tattoo. My dad hates it, that means it's a winner!!! (OK, truth be told - I really wish that I had gotten a tattoo, but I can never decide on what to get inked into my skin. There are so many factors to consider: Where? Why there? Why get a tattoo at all? What to get tattooed? Who should do the tattooing? Do I really want to trust the guy who offers 'free inking' so he can get certified? Should I put it someplace that people can see, or hide it where only a few may find it? If I get a tattoo now, what do I tell Noni when she comes to me in a month asking for one of her own? You get the idea. I had enough difficulty choosing a new hair color, and that is something I can change when I grow weary of it.)
(Pecan. The color is pecan. With tastefully placed highlights.)
(It looks really brassy in the picture - but it's not. It's warm and yummy.)
Daddyman asked me this morning what the best thing about last year was, and I told him it was all good. He agreed. This was the year that I took myself back. It's good to be in your 40's. I feel young enough to 'get it,' and old enough not to care what anyone else thinks about it. It's good.
My mom made the best birthday meal tonight - thanks mom! - homemade pasta and meatballs (pretty good for a Norwegian girl from North Dakota!), salad, crusty bread and - yes! - homemade angel food cake with strawberries and fresh whipped cream. It was heaven. I felt so pampered and loved and taken care of!
This was the first year that I enjoyed my birthday meal without any guilt! I let my family take care of me, and it was good. Someone once said that it is a gift we give other people when we let them give a gift to us. OK, that's maybe the complicated version. I used to feel totally guilty when people spent their time and/or money on me. Now, I feel great about just saying 'thank you' and enjoy it. It was a wonderful night. My Littles were so sweet! No fighting, very little whining. My parents were happy and relaxed. Daddyman was happy and relaxed. I was happy and relaxed - and all of it BEFORE the bottle of yummy red wine! Life is good.
My new guilty pleasure is Craig's List. La-la-LOVE it! I don't know why. I guess that I like to 'window shop.' I've posted things - some free and some for sale. It's always worked out. I've purchased clothes for Via from a lovely gal in an outer ring suburb - they were wonderful. I've purchased shoes from a young airline attendant who claimed to buy lots of shoes while traveling. (We met in the parking lot of the Cathedral. It felt like a spy novel.) I even bought my car through a listing on Craig's list, and you know how I love my very old car! Thanks, Craig. Wherever you are! I love you and all of your long, long lists!
I wish that I could go back and enjoy the birthdays of my childhood as much as I have enjoyed this birthday. I wonder why it is that my memory is not of enjoyment, but rather stress and tears? Is it just kid stuff. My mom and dad did all of the right things? Maybe, I just remember what I saw in pictures, and most of the pictures from my childhood birthdays include me in tears. Probably wanted to be first in line or the leader and had to be the 'host.' Funny now how much I love being the host AND being the first in line. (embracing my inner flake!)
I hope that my kids enjoy their birthdays - there sure is a lot of stress on the parents for kids birthdays. Just had Noni's birthday. 14 little kids - am I NUTS? All went really well for the first 2 hours. We aren't the parents who rent clowns or limos or giant, inflatable jumping things. We send home modest party bags that have no candy inside. We plan games and activities at our house! We take lots of pictures and laugh a ton and the whole family joins in the activities with the kids - ie, 3 legged races include the littlest Little and Daddyman. The parties are a blast. Usually. Then, in the last half hour, all hell broke loose. The teasing between the kids got totally out of hand. Hair pulling and tears and sassiness to siblings and swinging belts above heads and hitting friends across the face with the buckle because he was "listening to my secrets." Everyone was naughty, and no one was at fault, really. It was a little episode of The Lord of the Flies. Everyone was OK - no blood. The kids barely noticed. I, however, collapsed in a heap of tears and anger. How could these lovely little children be so damned MEAN!? And my child was one of them.
It hasn't been completely resolved yet, but it's ironing itself out. I called many, many parents to apologize and explain. (Most had no clue.) I talked with many, many children - some mine, some not. I implemented house arrest for those who participated without a thought of consequence...
I wonder what Noni's birthday memories will be?
I wonder what Oma's memories of my birthdays are?
And still, it's been a wonderful year!
What are some of YOUR favorite birthday memories?