Saturday, September 14, 2013

{Birthday Girls}

Avery and I have birthdays about two weeks apart. She turned eight this year, and I turned thirty-eight. When I was a kid, I thought it was strange when adults had to pause to think about how old they were. Here I was counting every single month and half birthday and three-quarters marker along the way, and they couldn't even remember the year?!

The traditional birthday doughnuts

Well folks, it happens. Thankfully, I can remember that I'm thirty years older than Avery, and I have no trouble remembering how old she is. A little quick math (don't laugh) and I'm golden.

Last month my Little Miss had demurely hinted in front of her generous Auntie that she would like to have a swimming party. Her Auntie was quick as ever and replied, "We could have it here!" Little Miss accepted.

So the cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents gathered to watch the kids splash and play, build ice cream sundaes and open gifts. She had a lovely time, and was especially in heaven spending the day with her best friend and cousin, Braelynn.

We didn't go swimming for my birthday, and I was just fine with that. It was actually a fairly normal kind of day (poor Jamie was sick!), with school and a meeting and such, but there were special treats along the way. The morning highlight was a Skype visit with Johnny, Brooke and Kinsley. As usual, the kids held up treasures to the screen to share with Kinsley, and she in turn showed us her books and dolls and various three-year-old antics.

At one point Aidan was fiddling around with a rope in the background, and Uncle Johnny lit up. "Whatcha got there, Aidan?" And soon they were comparing knots back and forth, Uncle Johnny expertly teaching Aidan the butterfly and sheep shank knots (or something like that!). It was such a simple interaction, but the joy it brought to my heart was immense.

Loving phone calls, messages, texts and emails filled my day with reminders that I am blessed with very dear friends and family.

Special cupcake delivery from my wonderful inlaws. Salted caramel deliciousness.

That night I had a meeting, and the kids were somewhat whispery and pointed in their questioning as I left. Assuming that this meant dessert, I gently hinted that it would be nice if the kitchen was tidy when I got home. The dears rose to the occasion, and I walked in to find a clean (although wet) kitchen and a pile of chocolate chip cookies, ready to be made into ice cream sandwiches. The ice cream was rather melty (they forgot to let the cookies cool), but we enjoyed the treat together, and I loved seeing the hearts of my kids who wanted to do something special for their mama.

We celebrated with dinner and a movie last night, when Jamie was feeling better. He had asked me what I would like for dinner, and I said (as I often do) that it would be such a gift to not even have to think about it -- just to have the decision made for me. So he did the shopping and worked his magic in the kitchen, and my tastebuds (and heart) were delighted.

In a fit of nostalgia, I chose Anne of Green Gables for our movie, and it was cozy to laugh and cry together in all of the usual places. The well-loved DVD skipped a few times, but I had no trouble filling in the dialogue for the kids. ("I want you to act smart and be respectful!" They've heard that one before.)

They laughed over the hairstyles (which in the 80s I thought were quite lovely) and I smiled with pride when "The Wreck of the Hesperus" was recited and Aidan recognized it from his lessons (all is not lost). Now if I can just get the girls to memorize "The Highway Man . . . ." Wouldn't Little Miss be smashing? And oh, how they laughed at Gilbert when he stood for the encore, his head wagging back and forth. Some things never change.

I no longer re-enact Anne scenes with my sister. Forty is looming on the horizon, and it would probably look strange if we recited "The Lady of Shallot" in the back yard (still). But I'm okay with that. Something in me clicked over the last year, as though I know more about who I am and who God is calling me to be. As I look over my prayer journals, one of my most frequent requests is "Teach me, Lord . . ." So I pray that I will be teachable and humble, finding joy and delight with each passing year, and that I will never, ever forget how to spell chrysanthemum.    

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  1. September is a good time to have a birthday, isn't it? Many of my favorite people have birthdays in September.



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