A Grown-Up Birthday

17 Nov

I took a walk after work, recognizing my body needed to move or my mind would spiral.

I made my way to the library, in no particular hurry. Books to return, yes, but really a calm to find, a breath to take.

I came home to Rob in a cloud of pasta water making fettuccine alfredo, the dish that had gone so wrong for me at a restaurant last week. It was a thoughtful thing, for Rob is a thoughtful person.

Hilary’s gift was on the porch. I unwrapped it, a mixed pattern dress that my pioneer ancestors would have loved. A handmade card where she had outdone even her wildest dreams.

I sat down to scroll through my text messages.

Caitlin sent me a particularly poetic thread, making our lives into a metaphor for the flowers she’d ordered. Gorgeous flowers! I didn’t know flowers like that could be delivered, I thought they only existed in barn weddings.

They are called “Wild, Wild Love,” Which is a perfect match for your soul.

The specific flowers used are ones that grow in places in unexpected places like deserts with sparse nourishment, on the side of highways, in fields that have been devastated by fires.

she began

Today was a grown-up birthday.

A friend texted and asked what I was doing to celebrate and I proudly declared that Rob had left cupcakes for me to find by my bedside. He had written me a letter. He was doing a task of great emotional labor that I had been avoiding.

I would, meanwhile, be taking a shower and reading a whole book, cuddling Dolly.

The Lakers were on, too.

A kind husband and a cute cat, friends who understand me, love that surrounds me.

A grown-up birthday, she said.

A grown-up birthday indeed.

No one at work knew it was my birthday. 

This is through no fault of theirs, I haven’t advertised it, I’ve been too in my head with too many things. I went through the day largely unnoticed, teaching, processing new titles. I led a graphic novel book club. I ate chili cheese fries for lunch.

My friends and family checked in, sending gifts and thoughts and compliments. 

I love you

I love you 

I love you

Words of affirmation forever.

And then I came home, where, despite all this, my mood was a bit low.

And so I went on a walk, recognizing my body needed to move or my mind would spiral.

It was the grown-up thing to do on this,

my grown-up birthday.


PS: My Bridget Jones birthday party

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