You get older, and for me ... they just seemed to get better. Some of my favorites were seeing Grease on my 7th Birthday with my very bestest friend Julie. I already knew all the words to the song thanks to the album, so to say that I sat still while watching it would be false. I was singing and dancing in my seat all the way through! On my 16th Birthday all my friends were super great to me, I was the STAR that day and it was complete with a cake that had my likeness fashioned into a driver's license (again, cool mom!) My 22nd was marked with my first tattoo with more meaning behind it than anyone could ever know. (See this post.) My 25th marked the first birthday that I was out on my own living in a new state. Some friends came out from STL as well as my mom (like you would expect her to stay away on such a monumental Birthday!)
My 30th was hard, because the year was so monumental. Got married, had a baby, my mother died, bought a house ... wanna add any other stress factors or life changing moments in ONE YEAR? The answer there would be, no. But by 35 I had bounced back with a FANTASTIC few days in Vegas, and because of the laws there I cannot tell you what happened. Last year was the big 4-0. What a celebration that was! It lasted the entire month of August and included my first book signing in my hometown followed that night by a surprise birthday party that Bruce threw for me. WOW! Not much could top that stupendous month last year.
But I must tell you that it is the little things in life that make us the happiest, and this birthday that was so low key seemed to be just what I needed. Hung out with the family, went bowling with my son's friend who ... unbeknowmst to him, ... was really a surprise bowling birthday party for him. Then we were surprised by our neighbors with the offer to go to dinner while they took our boys. YAY! That does not happen often so we jump at the chance! The whole day was lax, lazy, and just what I wanted. No gifts, beautiful flowers and cards from all the boys, but nothing big as far as gifts. That was, until I took the boys to Hollywood on Wednesday.
I had always wanted to take them, but Chase was just too young before now. I thought, why not? so we packed some snacks and headed there on a cloudy Wednesday morning taking the coastal route so the boys could see Malibu and Santa Monica. Once there, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I took great pleasure pointing out the names, who they were and what it was that they were famous for. My boys knew many of the names in music, but the movie ones they connected on a different level. I said "It's Tom Hanks. He's Woody in Toy Story." or "This is Michael Keaton. He was Jack Frost." Funny how they knew the voices, but not the movie work of many stars I love.
As we were exploring, I noticed that my oldest had given the younger one his hat and since both of them are fair and blond I knew I had to get Bodde a hat. We ducked into a souvenir shop and he chose the cheapest had he could find so we could go back to the day. He asked me to go after him, although I insisted on paying for the hat. He was buying something else, but he did not want me to see. He fumbled with his money in his pocket and I asked if he needed more. He said, "No, I have it Mom. Thanks."
After his transaction I stepped up to buy the hat. Bodde handed me the bag and said ..."This is for you." I took the bag and opened it. It was a Star key chain that said "Princess" on it. "I didn't get you a Birthday present and I know how much you like the movies and this place. I tried to find your name but could not, but I have heard Dad call you that so I bought it for you. Happy Birthday, Mom."
Well, I think it is easy for me to say that perhaps this will be a great year with a start like that! I also will say that there are times when my children amaze me with their love. I must have done something right to be blessed so much with the family that I have. There are life rewards all around us, we just have to be willing to accept and cherish them all at the same time.