Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy birthday

It was a perfect birthday.

Those years that your birthday falls on a weekend have an inherent advantage, of course. It’s much easier to feel special and have fun all day long if it’s a day you don’t have to get up early or go to work or keep a dentist appointment.

But yesterday felt special even within the realm of weekend birthdays. I spent the morning at brunch with 14 members of my family: my parents, my sisters, their husbands, my nieces and nephew, and of course Rick, Tim and Holly. I’d spent previous birthdays with various subsets of that group and always felt lucky to do so, but I don’t think I’ve spent my birthday with both my sisters since I was a teenager. So that in itself earmarked this as a wonderful birthday.

They weren’t actually in town for my big day but for my father’s 75th, which fell three days earlier. And I didn’t expect any fuss to be made over my birthday, after all the celebrating we’d done on Saturday evening in honor of his. But at Sunday brunch there were candles in the blueberry coffeecake and presents at the table, and I felt far more feted than I expected to.

My sisters and their families had to head to the airport and the highway once brunch was over, so I went to my friend Jane’s house to help her pack for her upcoming move. Packing my own house for our move last winter wasn’t much fun, but that’s because it seemed to go on endlessly and I had to make so many decisions along the way about what to keep and what to toss….and then too there was the prospect of unpacking all of these same items at the other side of the move. At Jane’s house, there was none of that: I was there only for an hour and simply did what she suggested without worrying about any of the details. It was downright enjoyable.

And then I went home, contemplated the dishwasher full of clean dishes and the dryer full of clean laundry, thought about which of the two I should start with, and then remembered it was my birthday. So I went for a 45-minute walk with the dog along the trails of Great Brook Farm State Park instead.

In the evening, Rick and the kids and I went out for dinner. Tim and I shared a piece of frozen peanut butter pie with fudge sauce. No explanation needed.

This birthday is not a particularly significant number for me – not one I want to admit to, anyway – but what a happy day. There were gifts, cards, phone calls and emails; delicious food; friends and family. Happy birthday, indeed.

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