Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Spirit of Birthday Present

It seems that when you get older a birthday ceases to be about receiving gifts and spending some quality time with your significant other. Instead it becomes another day to spend money on home repairs and trying to figure out whether it’s worth it to take the kids out or if it’s a better idea to just stay home. Okay, that may sound a little melodramatic but there is a tiny morsel of truth in there if you happen to be me - or my husband since we share a birthday.

First of all, I must hastily clarify that I received very special and lovely gifts for my birthday. It just happened that on Sunday, the day before my actual birthday, and the day of my birthday dinner made especially for me by my Mommy, we woke up to a cold house and a non-functioning oil furnace. I may be getting older, but there was still something fun about being all snuggly and bundled up in the house. That night all four of us slept together in an attempt to stay toasty. It was exciting because it was a deviation from the norm. (Not that it’s a ton of fun when it comes to payment for the repair to the furnace, but it helps to look at the bright side of life).

We awoke to a smattering of snow on our birthday and we all huddled on the couch to watch a DVD while the repairman tinkered away in the basement. After a while the decision was made to head over to our favorite diner for a late lunch. The baby slept the whole time and our son behaved very well. Until he tried to eat a french fry that he found on the diner floor on the way out. From there we coasted over to the mall to walk our post-lunch grogginess off. It was during this bit of exercise that we became suspicious that our two-year-old was coming down with a fever. Sure enough, by the time we got him home his temperature was well above normal. I suppose a birthday is just as good a time as any other to be sick.

All said and done, it was definitely not a boring day; there was the how-much-is-this-bill-going-to-be excitement, the satisfaction of an uneventful lunch out with the kiddos, and an evening full of cuddling with a sick toddler. The truth is, even though the birthday terrain has undeniably changed, the new terrain is just as wonderful as the old. Maybe even better.

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