Today, I turned 27. We had beautiful weather and a nice quiet day; play group, lunch with a friend, then dinner at the Brotherhood. Chris surprised Nora and I by being out of his chef whites when we arrived and waiting out front. For the first time in months, the three of us ate dinner downstairs just like everybody else.Of course, it wasn’t quite just like everybody else, because the three course tasting menu had been designed 100% for me – all vegetarian and delicious. Yummy artichoke risotto, awesome rosemary panna cotta, and my new favorite thing ever:Chris’ veggie version of “spaghetti and meatballs”: a mushroom meatball that was to-die-for, spaghetti squash, and tomato sauce. I never would have expected to like a savory dish over a dessert, but I would have eaten an entire tray full of them. Oh, did I marry well.
And that’s about it for my birthday. We’re very low key about our own birthdays (as in, the complete opposite from how we go crazy for Nora’s). Because I’ve realized since I became a mom, just how little my own birthday matters. Yes, I am glad I’m here and its’ not that being a year older freaks me out, but the actual date doesn’t matter at all. It could be today, next week, or next month; I don’t remember my birthday and don’t see it as a major event in my life, and being able to count another birthday doen not change who I am or how I feel.
Really, this day is more about my parents. It’s a day that redefined their understanding of themselves and completely changed the course of their lives. The story of my birth — how it happened, what it was like, and even the dates and time itself — are all something that belong to my mom not me. This is why I think birth experiences matter: birth brings a new life into the world, yes, but the birth day is a day that profoundly impacts the mother’s life and has the ability to positively or negatively transform her and her understanding of self, life, love, and the world. The birth day does not do that for the baby.
It’s nice to feel celebrated; to receive kind and loving comments, to be taken out to dinner and lunch, and to receive phone calls, notes, and gifts that say, I’m thinking of you. It’s also nice to have an excuse to eat cake and an excuse for buying one’s self a fancy new DSLR camera. But, in the midst of today, I also stopped everything and said happy birthday to my mother (who just might think I’m a little nuts).
Happy birthday, Mom.