Monday, December 7, 2015

Lisa Handed Me A Yellow Slip For My Birthday

I'm sitting on the sofa. Fresh cup of vanilla caramel chai tea. My new throw blanket covering the bottom half of my body. It's covered in fur and smells like it should probably be washed in the next day or so. Lisa and the kids are all sleeping soundly in bed. We all had an incredible night. Dinner and a movie at home. Lots of play time with the kids. Treats for everyone. I'm getting tired. Just looked at the clock. In another hour or so I'll officially be 42.

As always, a week (give or take a day or two) before our birthdays, we ask the other, "Is there anything special you'd like to do?" It's always met with the same reply, "As long as I'm with you and the kids, that's what matters."

That very conversation took place last week.

"Is there someplace you'd like to go for your birthday? Anything special you'd like to do?"

"I want to be with you and the kids. That is all I wish for."

"How about a trip to The Book Barn in Niantic? You've been wanting to go there for a while now."

"I know. Maybe we could go another time."

"Didn't you just make a list of books you want?"

"Yeah, but I have about a dozen books I haven't read yet on the shelf."

Lisa continued doing dishes while I made dinner.

"Honestly, I want a day to unplug. No phones. No computers. Nothing. You. Me. The kids. We never get a full day to just be. Live in the moment. Unplugged and interrupted. That's what I want. We'll order takeout, watch movies with the kids...on the sofa. That sounds blissful."

"Okay. If that's what you want, that is what you will get."

Yesterday, Lisa surprised me with and early birthday gift from her and the kids. A gingerbread house kit and 2 bottles of locally made wine. With 30 years of baking experience under my belt, I'm slightly ashamed to admit I've never baked or built a gingerbread house. This year, I wanted to.

The wine. Well, that goes without saying. Lisa knows me well.

Today, the best gift of all was presented to me. Five minutes after Lisa arrived home from work, she handed me a yellow slip. Her employee copy. Vacation day. Tomorrow. Lisa took the day off. My birthday. Family day. Unplugged.

Accompanying the yellow slip were other gifts. Spa items. Toblerone. My favorite Chai tea. Incredible yarn and new crochet hooks. Later in the evening, another surprise. Homemade pecan bars.

I'm currently on a sugar high.

I have no desire for birthday parties. Extravagant gifts. Birthday getaways. Dining at some overpriced restaurant. Surprise parties. Birthday celebrations involving dozen of people. Boozy birthday dance night at some local club.

Not to mention, those activities would involve leaving the kids at home or secured in the bedroom. That, to me, is unacceptable.

I view birthdays as a celebration of life. Life being the operative word. My life is what I do every single day and who I share it with. Lisa. Coco. Sophie. Lobo. A tiny, tiny handful of friends.

I can count those on one hand. I'm content with that.

Those are the ones who I want to celebrate my life with. Staying put. Enjoying great, pup-friendly takeout food with. Hunkering down on the sofa, all 5 of us, with 67 blankets and a buffet of snacks. One movie. Two movies. Three. Juicy kisses and snuggles from the kids. A visit from a friend or two.

That's what I get to do tomorrow. I couldn't be happier or more content.

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