The song was some weird variation on the usual, but the Margarita allowed me to just smile under my sombrero (a new thing at the West Covina Chevy's) despite the humiliation and clap at the end as I stared down at the cinnamon-shelled, ice-cream thingie covered with whip cream and chocolate syrup. Yummy – more calories. I can blame my brother-in-law BW for that.
I'm 42 today, sharing a birthday with Hugh Heffner and Charles-Pierre Baudelaire. Yesterday was surprisingly busy – baseball game with A in the morning (he hit a ball off a pitch and ran two bases!), getting-to-know-you pizza party with the team at a Glendora park, clothes-shopping for M at the local Target, the nice dinner. Oh yes, and opening my present. A brand new, second-generation Playstation 2 because our other one broke. In truth, my birthday was the excuse for the purchase – a conscious effort to limit our necessary purchases. We didn’t want to just go out and buy one for no reason at all or worse, to follow our instincts and get it to appease J’s recent resurgence of tics. We felt so sad for him this week because some kids started to make fun of him. He fumed because he’s too old to cry. My husband was ready to go out and buy him something to make up for it.
I lassoed him. “NO! We’re only going to teach him to buy things in order to soothe himself. We already do it enough. Please, let’s try to avoid that connection.”
We avoided it. So...Playstation for my birthday it is. Today we’ll see a movie – probably Ice Age. We have a flowery ice-cream cake (mint flavored, not my favorite, but the kids like it…are you all seeing a theme here?). At some point, I’ll have to prepare for classes this week. A terrible year it’s been for me – maybe it’s the kids draining me. Maybe the novelty of teaching as finally worn off. Whatever it is, I’d rather not be doing it.
Not surprisingly, I’m feeling a little blue today. Feeling unpretty, feeling fat, feeling that I’m not quite recognizing the girl in the mirror – remember when you wanted to be a doctor? Remember when someone called you beautiful and meant it? When did you get so gray? Why aren’t you doing more of what you love to do? On the other hand, isn’t it the passing of all these years that lets you write as freely as you do? Isn’t that a blessing?
The high point of the weekend will have been last night’s brisk walk of the dog near ten, M next to me, chatting and wearing her new clothes. The boys were on skateboards and zipping around the neighborhood in the dark of night, taking advantage of the fact that there weren’t any cars. They took different routes and we kept meeting them before they went on their way again. I wore my coat because cold runs through me so. The moon shined so whitely that we almost didn’t need the flashlight.
At one point M had walked far ahead of me and all I could see was the reflection of pink of her rain jacket when I pointed the flashlight towards her. The shadows hid her, then she was there, then she wasn’t…when I caught up to her, I held her hand and we skipped home, Sassy tugging on the leash.
And so another year begins.
Update: the near miss with the emergency room. In getting ready to go to the movies, everyone takes baths and showers. My husband decides to get really serious about the birthday grooming and begins clipping nails. Clips M's nails...a little close. So close there's blood on the finger and there are tears and screams and there's a gap the size of Mt. Vesuvius on her fingertip and we're all in a panic, thinking we should go to the emergency room, but then the Hello Kitty bandaid comes out and a spread of Neosporin and all seems to be well again. So...we're back on with the movies. J is blow-drying his hair and I'm here...buying tickets online for Ice Age. The next showing.
Ahh...a lovely birthday...a perfect one.
Post-Update: The movie was cute, but not as good as the first Ice Age. The finger is well on its way to recovery - I think we can avoid the doctor or the emergency room. The father, however, is not as recovered, now vowing to never trim nails ever again and especially not in a dimly lit den.