Rebecca left me a voicemail last night: “You’re probably out celebrating, but happy birthday! I’m glad you were born.”
Birthdays are strange stuff, full of the same high expectations met with crushing disappointment drama of New Year’s Eve, but reserved exclusively for you. Since my fifth-birthday party pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey meltdown (a fiasco preserved on dusty VHS in my parents’ basement), I’ve kept my requirements low: something sweet to eat and some sweet reminders I am loved.
I’m lucky enough to partake of both most days out of the year, but yesterday was something extra nice, alternately full-up on embarrassment (thanks again, Mom), aging jokes from my grey-haired gentleman coworkers (including kazoo serenade and improv sonnets), phone calls and Facebook messages and text hieroglyphics (still chuckling, Caitlin) and one lovely evening on a quiet lake.
I treated myself for breakfast with just-ripe slices of nectarine. I usually stick to good ol’ apples and oranges, so trying new fruits feels indulgent and birthday-worthy somehow. I listened to the new Cat Power over and over at work, and I highly recommend making “Nothin But Time” your next sappy birthday jam. I got a new dentist. I got all your cards in the mail at once. And, in a particularly nice turn of events, boat rental plans at a nearby lake — foiled by an office with unpredictable hours — turned into fully-dressed swimming. Because we were there and it was warm and there was that late-summer light between sunset and moonrise and because we were born.
And then we played in the sand, and then we sat quietly on the grass and it was so nice. Like smell of warm, fresh-baked bread nice (which, now I’m thinking about it, will probably be my 25th birthday breakfast treat).
I’m feeling giddy and silly these days and I’m so, so happy and so, so grateful to everyone who’s making that possible and listening to me gush about these wonderful and unexpected people and events. The best birthday gift (besides maybe a hand-drawn card) was feeling taken care of and excited for the future, especially this weekend in Knoxville with Annie, girl-timing and exploring.
I promise to return all the calls and messages, but for now, thank you thank you thank you. I wish I could give you all a quick hug and a perfect morning nectarine.