The afternoon of my real birthday I was deciding that even though I was going to have a party another day I still wanted something special for dinner. I started herding children toward the door with plans to buy a chicken and roast it or something and make myself MY favorite side dishes when my in-laws showed up, some of them anyway, with birthday presents, and cool swag from India. I have a new sari, and a marble bread and pastry board. The kids all have adorable and elaborate costumes from India also.
Once they had gone I once more began the herding process, finding shoes, tidying rooms, and telling the Genius Husband my dinner plan, just in case he had had time to think of something thoughtful. We had just gotten to the point in the conversation where there is a deep pause and he asks, “Should I be planning something?” when I interrupted him to pick up the other line. I knew it was my dad, because he keeps calling from pay phones. He is currently camped out in the desert about 4 hours from us for 2 months in order to paint. It’s his little professional vacation and he’s having fun.
He was calling to wish me a happy birthday, as I suspected. That in and of itself is a great accomplishment. My dad is not one to remember things, pretty much ever. He then asked what I had planned, and on learning that I was about to make dinner asked if I wouldn’t rather go out for dinner instead. It turns out that he drove all the way into town to help celebrate my birthday and was calling from a few blocks away. The short version is, I was very happy. Even thought we went to Del Taco, I was still very happy. My dad spent the night and left the next day, back to his vacation. And I have birthday money to spend.
The GH said to me one night this week, “I’m being sneaky.”
“Okay,” I said, “What are you being sneaky about?”
“I am sneakily finding out what kind of thing you would like to do with my grandparents for your birthday.”
(His grandparents usually like to take people out for breakfast on their birthday.)
“Oh, well, let me finish getting the kids to bed and then I’ll drop some clues for you.”
Fifteen minutes later I knew exactly what I wanted the GH to tell his grandparents.
“There’s a little French bakery and cafe that I walk past every week on the way to the Farmer’s Market and I’m always telling you how much I’d like to check it out.”
“You are?” He asks, with a very concerned, what did I forget now look.
“Yes.” I reply, staring him down and willing him to remember that he started this game, “I tell you about it all the time.”
It takes a second and then the light bulb goes on.
“Oh, right. Would you mind looking up the address and phone number for me to give to them?”
I acted duly surprised, and they paid my sister in law to watch my kids for a few hours so we could go to brunch. It was a great place, much funner than IHOP and so Saturday was great too. And I have more birthday money burning a hole in my pocket. I have been ordered this year to actually spend it on myself instead of using it for the GH’s birthday present and so I promise to try.
(But he really wants an iPOD this year, and it’s not really a gift if I spend money he earned to get it now is it?)
Yesterday was my party, and people came! I ended up calling everyone anyway to make sure they knew they were invited, which was probably more polite too now that I think about it. I doubt I’d have planned anything though with out the posted invitation to inspire me. On Saturday night I watched the GH come in after a run, ice his knee, and fall asleep on the living room floor. So I made my own birthday cake. I let him make the filling and ice it though. I found the recipe thanks to Rae, and it tasted really good.
The GH did take the older kids to church in the morning so I could sleep in and have some time to myself yesterday, also so that he could take them to Target to choose me a gift. I am now the proud consumer of raspberry flavored dark chocolate, strawberry and almond flavored dark chocolate, and dark chocolate with chili flakes. They are very anxious for me to open my present and share because they are very generous like that.
Yesterday afternoon and evening it rained and poured all day so we had several small children and adults all confined to a tiny space otherwise known as my living room/dining room/kitchen. (My in-laws master suite is probably larger.) It was loud and noisy and fun. No small children were seriously injured in the celebration of my birthday, at least, not permanently.
Thanks to my friends for joining me.
Last year was a good year, and I think this year will be too.