Today is my birthday. I am sitting here in my favorite bakery (Rockwood Bakery), listening to my favorite band (The Eagles) on my earphones, eating a delicious cinnamon roll and drinking hot chocolate with whip cream. I’m pretty lucky. Yet, kind of sad. I miss that call that I usually get on my birthday. The one from my Dad where he would always say “Happy Birthday Honey” and I would feel like a little girl no matter how old I got. I miss the frosted brownies my stepmom always made for me on my birthday. I miss all the silly little gifts my Mom would spend a year buying me for my birthday and how she would let me eat cake for breakfast. I think when you lose your parents your birthday loses its magic. There aren’t many people left who actually remember your birth and all the excitement that comes with it anymore. It becomes a lonesome day filled with memories of “the good old days”.
My birthday is also a weird day for me. I think of the woman who gave birth to me. How young she was. How afraid she must have been. How the day of my birth was no doubt traumatic for her. To give birth to a baby you carried for nine months, never even get to see it, give it up to strangers for adoption and move on with your life. That’s a lot. I wonder what she thinks about on my birthday. I wonder if she has spent all these years trying to forget it and if this is a day that she dreads.
But then…..as I sit here my phone keeps buzzing with birthday wishes from all my wonderful friends and family. And this morning there were two little kids waiting at my bedroom door to yell “HAPPY BIRTHDAY STACEY!!!!” to me when I opened it, accompanied by hugs. With a card they had made themselves detailing how much they love the food I give them and how they hope I have a great day. Jackson for his part woke me up at 5:30 a.m. lying in his bed saying “mama” (this one gift I could have done without, at least for a couple more hours). I’m having lunch later with a good friend. Then tonight the whole family is going out to dinner which means I don’t have to cook! Which all Moms know is truly a gift.
I guess this is going to be my birthday. A day mixed with a little sadness, wondering, and joy. There are people missing from my life, people who I miss so deeply. There are new people who have entered my life and who bring me a whole new level of joy. It’s a balance of give and take, the routine of life. I’m not sure who said “Things don’t have to be perfect to be wonderful” but it seems fitting for my birthday and how I feel today.