Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

Today has been a sobering day for me. You see, it's my birthday.

Not that it hasn't been wonderful in many ways! My (sexy and hot-blooded) husband was home for the morning and let me sleep in, always a nice treat. My parents sent me a gift card and I was able to go shopping online, which is something I enjoy very much. And I had chocolate cake with purple frosting for dinner, along with a tall glass of milk and chocolate ice cream. It really has been nice.

What is so very sobering for me is that I am now 24, and for some reason I have never felt old before. On past birthdays, for instance my 16th or 20th birthday, my mom would ask, "So how does it feel to be 16 [or 20]?" and I would answer that it felt very much like being 15 or 19. 

But this year, I believe that I am 24. In fact, if someone had told me very seriously that I am actually turning 25 or 30, I might have been persuaded. For the first time... ever, really, I feel that adulthood has sunk in. 

I have a theory as to why. I look back at my childhood and think of my mom's birthdays. I can't really remember anything to mark them. I might have made her muffins, or perhaps Dad supervised a breakfast in bed surprise, but the fact is that after breakfast she got up, took a shower, and went on with her day. In fact, my birthday usually overshadowed hers and Dad's, since our birthdays are every other day: Dec 29, 31, and January 2. 

I also look back to my own past birthdays, when the thing I looked forward to most was to put on my favorite clothes and go to Chuck E Cheese, or the mall, or to a restaurant, or (later) a bar. 

But today, the best thing I could have possibly looked forward to was staying in my bathrobe until 1 in the afternoon, and eating chocolate cake with purple frosting at night. It's really all I wanted. And in between I did the grocery shopping, read "Green Eggs and Ham," did a load of laundry, and gave the dog a bath. 

I'm not disappointed. I want to be clear on that. But as I stood at the bakery counter today picking out my chocolate cake with purple frosting, I realized that this must be how my mom has spent her birthdays for about 24 years. And if this is how mom does it, then I must be an adult now. And that, my friends, is sobering. 

The good news is that despite my mother's (unmentioned) age, she claims that she has yet to grow up. This, for me, is why the chocolate cake with purple frosting was so important. So Happy Birthday to me, but here's a quick shout out to Mom and Dad for being awesome parents who have helped me get so far. Happy Birthday to you, too. 

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