I sit here trying to remember how I celebrated my birthday a decade ago. I'm at a loss for specifics...but I am pretty sure it was All About Me. The evening most likely began with an hour of uninterrupted primping (Remember that, moms?? When you could actually brush your hair with one hand and blow-dry with the other instead of having to alternate tasks with a clingy toddler on your hip? When you weren't playing 20 questions about why they would make under-eye concealer green if not to paint your face like Princess Fiona? When you could apply lipstick without having to share with a preschooler? Okay, that part's kinda fun, but I digress...) Anyways, a fun night on the town would have followed...a hunky boyfriend on my arm, dinner and drinks with friends, a short walk from my charming upper flat. I'm sure it was a late night; the kind when, before bed, articles of clothing are hung on the balcony to air out the smokey bar stank. A good night's sleep and a morning after that required no alarm clock. Ah, to be 22.
Fast forward 10 years. I was woken (well before the alarm) by a bouncing preschooler asking, "is Mama's birthday before or after school and if it's before can we have apple pie for breakfast?" :) Outside, the warmest birthday weather I can remember. A surprise Starbucks delivery and good old-fashioned kitchen table gossip with a girlfriend to start the day. My hubby was going to try to cut out of work early for dinner out with the girls and my parents, and had picked up that delicious (and entirely too-large-Costco-portion-of) apple pie to be enjoyed at home afterward. My mantle was crowded with pretty cards from dear friends and family; my wall filling with Facebook love. 32 wasn't shaping up to be so bad either.
Then, Charlotte comes home from school with both a fever and a letter confirming a case of Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease in her classroom. I frantically inspect her for blisters (phew, nothing yet) as she asks, "what's a half-footed-mouse??" My mind races...We were supposed to have a week of Halloween fun ahead of us, Andy would be traveling for work and I was certain I'd be trapped with not one but two cases once Molly caught it because Greenie Mom doesn't even keep bleach in the house so how could I comply with the Health Department's "HMFD Prevention" guidelines?? In the meantime, my mom's sick, I worry more, my dinner party dwindles. Plan B of Chinese takeout sounds good, Andy arrives home and calls in the order but no answer because of course! Chinese restaurant? Closed on Mondays. Plan C, we pass the wait time in the backyard. Girls bicker atop the slide and both tumble off the side...bloody lip for Molly, bloody screaming from Charlotte. At this point, Dad's somehow disappeared for well over an hour (the witching hour no less) to pick up dinner and make a frivolous Meijer run. Happy Birthday to me.
We played barefoot in the leaves.
(in other happy news, these were scored for $2.48 each at Target)