I'm turning 41 today, an age that is mature and dignified and does not call for crazy all-night bubble blowing contests with wads of pink gum in my parents' basement, or frenzied treasure hunts in search of the coveted Avon Hello Sunshine girls' perfume bottle prize to celebrate it properly. (Aside: My mom was one of the best birthday party planners ever! I say this in part because it's true, and in part because I am trying to ensure through flattery on days like today that the photos she took of a flat-chested twelve-year-old me wearing a black lace bra [over my shirt] that I was [un]lucky enough to pull out in her famous "Pass the Clothes Bag" birthday party game don't ever get posted publicly. Love you, Mom!) These days I prefer a more low-key birthday, with time to enjoy the company of my little family and to reflect gratefully on the many blessings that make my every day beautiful in some way.
My three guys know this about me, and their kind, sweet hearts came up with the perfect little things to put a smile on my face for my birthday. Yesterday, a few hours after everyone else had gone to work or school, I left home to go to a yoga class. When I opened the front door upon my return, I was instantly greeted by the delicious smell of sweet, chocolate-y goodness wafting through our house. My first thought was, "Mmm, baking!", followed instantly by, "Wait, did I bake something this morning?" (because I am old now, and easily forget things, as is evidenced by the facts that I had overdue library books this week for the first time in my whole life, and that I had to go back to the grocery store yesterday because I forgot to buy one of the main things I went there for). A quick investigation revealed a cake cooling on the dining room table (which I realized I had not baked), but there was no evidence of any people or messes or dishes. I realized that Matt had come home from work while I was out so he could bake me a birthday cake without me being anywhere near the kitchen. He had found the recipe for a gluten and dairy-free cake by looking through my cookbooks and, all on his own, whipped up something that looked delicious. The thoughtfulness behind his sweet gesture warmed my heart for the whole day.
This morning, I figured that the boys, in the regular school-day morning rush, would probably not remember that it was my birthday, but I was totally wrong. Noah came downstairs without saying anything, but when I handed him his toast, he handed me from behind his back a card he had made. We have a long-standing joke between us about the lunch fairy, whom I've often wished aloud would swoop in in the evenings and make lunches for the boys for the next day for school. I loved his sense of humour in his card:
Will came into the kitchen wearing a smile and holding out his own handmade card for me. I complimented him warmly on how lovely the flower was he had drawn for me, and how nice the letters were, and then burst out laughing when I read the inside of his card: