Yesterday was my birthday. I am now officially a full-fledged member of the 32 club. Yep, card-carrying member. From now until his birthday in September, Barry loves to work in the age difference – you know, that I’m older than he is. I don’t think this tradition started until I turned the big 3-O a couple years ago.
Throwing caution to the wind I stayed up really late reading the eve of my birthday. I don’t even know what time it was when I clicked off my head lamp. (That’s right, people, I read with a head lamp in bed. Don’t be jealous, it’s a trick I learned from my dad and I’m quite proud of it.) So as I drifted off into dreamland, I had a far-off notion that I was going to be tired (and possibly grumpy) come morning time, but it was my birthday so I could do what I wanted, right?
I certainly woke up on the wrong side of bed, more grumpy than tired. I took Maggie to storytime at the library and then we hit up a cafe for lunch, because we were still throwing caution to the wind and I wanted to enjoy the slower side of life.
By the time we got home it was time for Maggie’s nap and I was feeling somewhat smug about our timing. I was also happy because we’d seen some of our friends at storytime….I made the mistake of talking about sleep schedules with one of my friends, a big no-no if you have a child that is sleeping well. I’m pretty sure Maggie overheard me talking to Mark and thought “I don’t think I’ll take a nap today.”
I tried to get her down longer than I should have: reading, rocking, singing, walking, etc. I guess she wanted to throw caution to the wind just like her mama and see what life is like when you don’t have a mid-day sleep session. By this point, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself and suddenly it was as if I could relate to Alexander in Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
And then our doorbell rang.
I was still rocking Maggie at this point (and she wasn’t having it) so we went to see who it could possibly be, only to find my Grandpa Elvrum trying to get back to his car for a quick getaway. My grandparents are steeped in tradition and hardly a holiday goes by that I’m not given a sweet card, chocolate or a reminder that they love and care about me. My birthday was no exception and they’d left a card and gift for me on the porch.
We hollered from the door that they were caught and invited them in, which they gladly did because they love a little Maggie time. Who doesn’t, right? I opened my present and card (thank you very much, Grandma & Grandpa!) and we sat in the living room and watched Maggie zip around with her bucket of crayons as if she’d just woken up from her nap.
After sitting and talking for a few minutes I could feel my shoulders loosen and hear myself laugh a bit more freely. The woe-is-me feeling that I’d had just a few minutes before was slowly going away as I watched Maggie happily drag her art basket from one room and a pile of books from another.
It was another reminder to me that in life, sometimes being able to change your perspective can make all the difference in the world.
After my grandparents left, Maggie pulled open the door and sat watching the rain fall while eating crackers for the longest time. I wondered what she was thinking about…I found myself singing her song out loud as I fought the urge to open all the windows in the house and let the smell of rain saturate us. I let myself be satisfied by the air coming in via the door, it is February after all.
It wasn’t long before Barry got home and he helped Maggie get into her rain gear. I packed my bag and hit the road to the spa to meet up with Chaya for our planned birthday adventure. (I know, knowing that I was going to the spa apparently wasn’t enough to keep me from feeling sorry for myself. Annoying, right?)
I left both Mags and Barry stomping puddles in the backyard and hoped that Maggie wouldn’t be too much of a tired girl while I was away. I enjoyed myself at the spa with Chaya – I love that place and it’d been a long, long time since I’d been there. We both brought our books, but hardly read any pages – quietly chatting from room to room and pool to pool (except for the time that Chaya made me laugh really, really loud and we got in trouble).
By the time I got home, Maggie had already fallen asleep. Turns out when you don’t get a nap, bedtime comes at an earlier hour. I was kind of sad that she wasn’t awake to help celebrate in blowing out the candle and eating of cupcakes that she and Barry had made.
This post really should have been about how Barry is a MASTER at pulling off great birthday surprises and how I get fooled every single year. This year was no exception and as I opened my final gift I found myself doing the happiest of happy dances. He is sneaky, for sure. My camera gear just went into the level of very fancy and I couldn’t help but laugh at how my day had evolved.
Being a full fledged member of the 32 club has it advantages, I suppose. One of them, however, is not throwing caution to the wind and not sleeping. I’ll be clicking my head lamp off a bit earlier tonight.
Yesterday we were driving in the car and Maggie noticed a school bus out the window and freaked out yelling “Bus, Bus!!!!” while pointing at it. I think she had thought that her very own little bus at home had come to life and found us on the road. After that, she kept pointing out the trucks and cars and telling me that she was ‘yooking’ for another bus.
Mags was showered with valentines from Barry’s mom, Sue, the Merk boys and my grandparents and I can officially say that she now knows how to open a present on her own, so there will be no need to practice before her birthday this year. (Thanks for the gifts, guys! Our little sweetheart loves them all!)
This past weekend I hosted our annual Cousins Dinner and set up a craft station for everybody to make their own crown; because who doesn’t love to wear a crown and eat, right? Anyhow Maggie has absolutely fallen in love with putting stickers on herself and anyone in a 10ft radius. The other night Barry had stickers inside his ears, which I thought was very clever placement.
We’ve also got our coffee table covered in butcher paper and Maggie has spent quite a bit of time drawing and coloring away.The other night, if I could just brag for a moment, she accidentally scribbled an “M” and then noticed it and pointed it out to Barry and I, who were sitting with her. She did it a few times, but then started scribbling and claiming the scribbles were other letters, so the Miracle Moment was short lived. But still. She made her first “M” and I’m proud.
Today we’re going swimming with our A-Town crew at the new pool by our house. It should be interesting, but hopefully we’ll all have a good time and it can become more of a regular thing.
Eeek. Mags is shouting for me from the other room, so I better wrap this up.