A few weeks before my 33rd birthday, James asked me how I wanted to celebrate. To my surprise- and his- I burst into tears. The innocent question touched a nerve that I didn't realize was still raw. While I never had actually said it outloud or fully admitted it to myself, a part of me assumed that by now, by 33, kids would already be a part of the picture. And my birthday was a landmark of time passing and a reminder that it hadn't yet.
It had nothing to do with not appreciating how much I've accomplished this year/last few years/decade/etc. I was (am) grateful for where I am, who I am and the enriching people in my life.
So I told James that I wasn't really feeling like doing anything, but that if he wanted to organize a dinner with a couple of friends or something, it was all on him. Whatever. And then I let it float away from my mind.
I did, however, continue to thing about all the things I am grateful for right now. I played with the idea of following in this woman's footsteps and take a picture of one thing everyday that I am grateful for. But it didn't feel right for me... and the idea of remembering to take pictures everyday kind of stressed me out. The good thoughts continued though and as my birthday got closer and closer I felt calmer and peaceful about it.
Yeah, I was still sad about the miscarriage, but look, I told myself, at all this wonderful time I am spending with my husband. And man how awesome is it to work and come home and be done. Weekends are still magical. Life, while tinged a bit with a little sadness, is good right now. So I emailed my family saying as much and hey let's plan something small for the weekend after my birthday because I knew I would later regret not acknowledging my birthday.
I didn't get much of a reply from people which surprised me. My aunt sent me a short response saying something like 'yes, let's do that. We'll figure out details later'.
The weekend before my birthday arrived and I found out why I didn't hear from folks.
James threw me a surprise birthday party. I, quite unknowingly, screwed up part of the plan because I didn't want to leave the house (folks were supposed to set up while we were out at a movie). But the result was divine- people that I love kept showing up. I had no idea who to expect. It was kind of like a flash mob party- people constantly coming in with food. By the end of the night, my face hurt from all the smiling. It was an awesome gathering. I was surprised and humbled.
I feel like I owe my 33rd birthday an apology. It's not my birthday's fault that certain things haven't happened yet. And truth be told, 33 is starting off awesomely.
So here's to this upcoming year- may it continue to surprise, inspire, love and lift me up.