Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another birthday

Well, it was bound to happen. We had a major scheduling conflict on my birthday. I grew up celebrating just about every holiday. And, well, even though I now have two teenagers far more sophisticated than myself on most days, I still make a big deal about each person’s special day. They know I expect attention on my day, too. Oh, not all day long. Just dinner out.

But, well, everyone was busy on Saturday. My son had to work, my daughter had cheerleading. No problem, I said. How about we go out to eat on Friday night? You guessed it, Friday night wasn’t good either. Both my kids and my husband had plans. Thursday involved other commitments. On Monday, my husband was flying out of town. So, after much discussion and looking at social calendars, Sunday night was it. My husband made dinner reservations downtown. We were set…so I thought.

Sunday arrived. We went to church. Then there was the fun family activity of cleaning out the garage on just about the hottest day of the year. Everyone started getting grumpy. After an hour, I looked around…the kids had mysteriously found other things to do. Next thing I knew, my husband did, too. And then the phone started ringing. Actually, my family’s cell phones started ringing.

Uh oh, everyone started getting invited to all kinds of places, including a golf outing for my husband. I listened to everyone’s conversations, kind of feeling guilty when everyone cancelled…it was mom’s birthday. They had to spend time with mom. No, it wasn’t an optional thing. Mandatory~ just like they were in the army.

Well. I started feeling guilty.

The car was pretty silent during the drive downtown. I sat there remembering years that had passed, when the kids drew me pictures and the Dairy Queen ice cream cake was looked forward to with breathless anticipation. Yeah, I’ll admit it. I was kind of bummed and irritated with myself. How come I was making a big deal out of my birthday, anyway? I mean…I’ve had LOTS of birthdays.

But then, after we got to the restaurant, a series of things happened. My husband presented me with a special menu signed by the staff. The kids put away their cell phones and started chatting. We laughed about my daughter’s seventh birthday, when her birthday dinner consisted of Top Ramen. We remembered swimming parties, slumber parties, parties that I thought would Never End, and my husband’s fortieth. We had a nice dinner. We all dug into my slice of chocolate cake. And lo, and behold, my son and daughter both handed me cards. My new driving son had taken my daughter out shopping just the day before-without me saying a word!

So, I had a great birthday, even though it wasn’t actually on my birthday. And I got what I wanted-family time, even though I had to whine and put my foot down to get it.
Okay…anyone have a birthday story to share…either their own or a family member’s?


Estella said...

Quite frequently my birthday fally on Thanksgiving, so I have the whole extended family at my birthday dinner.

Anonymous said...

Estella, that sounds like fun! So, what do you do for birthday cake? I love pumpkin pie, so that would suit me fine, I think.


Heather Webber said...

Shelley, happy birthday! Good for you putting your foot down. One day a year isn't too much to ask! I'm glad you enjoyed your dinner out.

My husband's and my birthday are a day apart, so we're always celebrating together. With two separate cakes. Mmmm.

Maureen said...

Happy Birthday! Families, who us moms spend a majority of our time taking care of and doing for, can take a night out to celebrate the fact that they were lucky enough to have us the past year.

Anonymous said...

Awwww, that's such a sweet story, Shelley! Glad it all worked out (even if Mom had to whine to make it happen). Happy belated birthday!!