I find it amusing how, at the ripe old age of 45, it is important to me that when my youngest child was born, I was 40. Not 41. 40. Granted, I was days shy of turning 41 when my baby was born to another mother, but nonetheless, I was a mere 40. With my family now complete, I like knowing how old I was when my children were born: 37, 38, and 40.
I had frankly put my birthday on the back burner this year, because frankly I'm not really in the mood for another birthday (in the past ten days, we've celebrated Geoff's, my Dad's, Lizzie's and Seth's). Also, Geoff and I quietly decided that we wouldn't tell the younger kids that it's my b-day today because we're not going to do a family celebration of it for a couple of weeks, when various family members get back from vacation...and I think it's too confusing for the kids to know that today is my birthday but we're going to celebrate it in two weeks. I can just hear them thinking: huh??
That being said, I was wished Happy Birthday by many friends and family today: via phone; email; and facebook. Also, a dear friend joined the kids and me for a picnic lunch today and, in addition to bringing me gifts (which she gave and which I opened furtively so that the kids wouldn't put two and two together!), she quietly sang happy birthday in my ear. Though the picnic ended rather depressingly with a tantrum (from one of the kids, not me!), it was nonetheless a wonderful way to feel celebrated.
In addition, I do get one big gift tonight: A night off! I haven't had an evening off (barring 90 minutes ten days ago that still had me get back to the house before the bedtime routines started) since before we left for Ethiopia to pick up the kids. So this evening after dinner (which will be an easy prep one!) I am going to go by myself to a nearby Starbucks, buy myself a full-fat salted caramel hot chocolate (extra hot), take a book and my computer with me, and just sit there. Maybe I'll even go to a late movie, I don't know. But as a person who really does value spending time on her own once in a while, and not having had it for what feels like an impossible amount of time, this is the absolute best gift of all for me right now. I can hardly wait to get out the door in just a little while.
So on that note, I will bid you good night, and wish you blessings for the weekend!