>Sometimes it’s your birthday

12 Apr

>I woke up Monday morning thinking, “Huh. 18.” (Give or take 20.) I thought through the relatively innocuous and non-eventful birthday ahead. Hubby heading to work. Miss 6 (now 7) heading to school. Babysitter (Rock Star) here for 2 ½ hours. What’s a birthday girl to do? True Blue and I were attempting to make coffee plans around the various children in our lives. And we’d finally given up and settled on lunch instead. Then the hubby says, “Good thing ‘cause you’re goin’ to the St. Julien for a little massage action.” Okay then. That’s a birthday plan I can get my head around.

So off into the snow I headed. No minutes to spare as usual. Arrived breathless and damp to a staff of smiling spa faces. They welcomed me. Told me to relax. It was slow day so there was no rush. Handed me a mimosa and took me in to change into a robe and slippers. You know, if every Monday was like that we’d all be a much happier society.

I always talk during my massages and the hubby thinks I’m crazy. He likes to zen out. And I like to talk. Nothing all that different from real life I’d say. But my therapist was a cool girl from South Dakota. Very into healing. Knew where and why I was holding stress. I couldn’t resist talking to her. She’d known since she was 9 that she wanted to do this for a living. How many people can say that? I felt like a million bucks after and we exchanged e-mail addresses. I’m sending the hubby in.

I keep thinking that this veil of sadness is sure to lift. That the days will tick by and the sun will come out. But it just stays cloudy. I linger at the fringes of this tragedy. Unsure of what to do. Wanting to swoop in. But holding back. Hovering. But today I finally talked to my friend, Sourire. (It’s French for smile because she is constantly laughing and smiling and then apologizing for it.) We hadn’t spoken for a few days although we’d texted, etc. She left a message while I was at the spa and she was so choked up and crying so hard that I could barely understand her words. I had to get to her. So I called and we talked. And talked. And she told me so many things that were bottled inside of her. The sadness leaking out of her like a tired rusty pipe. Her husband was in seclusion and they were just spent. Tragedy had them firm in its nasty grip. All I wanted to do was rush over and snatch them up and out of it all. If only it was that simple.

After a few moments, I collected myself, grabbed Bean, bade farewell to Rock Star and headed off to True Blue’s for lunch. It was a good distraction. Catching up with her. Watching the little baby in her arms and reminding myself of all that’s still so innocent in the world. We ate Proto’s Pizza, laughed with the kids, exchanged birthday gifts and caught up. So nice. Such a reprieve.

Then it was home and the hubby was there. Had headed home early to pick up Miss 6 (now 7) and make gnocchi. Birthday evening begins.

Then not. Miss 6 (now 7) picks this precisely tranquil moment to throw a wrench in. A full tilt Miss 6 (now 7) moment performed at the top of her game. The gist: “Bean CANNOT TOUCH ANYTHING OF MINE OR IT WILL MAKE ME FOLD IN ON MYSELF UNTIL I BEGIN TO WRITHE AND FLIP ABOUT AS IF IN EXCRUCIATING PAIN.” So even though by mathematical formulations we only have exactly one-fourth of an Italian household, everyone begins to yell. Right along with the gnocchi making. Miss 6 (now 7) proceeds to make a marathon out of entering and exiting her room (slamming the door each time). Bean wrinkles up her face and lets out a wail in tune with each slam. I loose my mind (what else is new?) and add in my two cents, “You are RUINING Mommy’s birthday!” To which comes the reply, “You are so MEAN!” Etc. etc. ad nauseam. I try to explain how on HER birthday I had a fever, was sick with a sinus infection, etc. but I BUCKED UP because it was HER BIRTHDAY. It worked for about five seconds. We actually sat down to dinner. And then it started up again. “Well I STILL DON’T WANT BEAN TO HOLD MY BEAR! SHE’S GETTING STUFF ALL OVER IT!” You know, end of the world/sky is falling stuff. It wasn’t until Bean was safely tucked in bed that the beast finally released my eldest daughter. (Hmmm. Doesn’t take a therapist to figure that one out.) Basically, she was relieved that Bean hadn’t gotten cake. And then I just had to throw in, “Oh no. It’s okay. She had cupcake today with me at lunch.” Then it was Miss 6 (now 7)’s turn to wrinkle up her face. “She DID?!” “Yes. She did. So she doesn’t need cake now anyway.” (My lame attempt to shore up the equality thing.) “Well! If I was a parent and MY children were in school. And I GOT A CUPCAKE while they were gone. I would SAVE THEM SOME!” Hrrumph.

I finished my dinner in the living room. Alone. A few minutes later, tranquility settled in for the night. I got a hug. An apology. And we took it all out onto the porch. Wrapped ourselves up in blankets and just rocked for a while. A neighbor and his son came by and treated me to a birthday serenade. It was just so. And all the rest melted away with the light of the day.

Now the week has passed. I’m home while the hubby and Miss 6 (now 7) are at soccer. Some mystery ailment has my gut tied up in knots. It started Thursday just before we were heading out to hear our neighbor play a set at The Laughing Goat. I tried to go anyway and ending up leaving in misery. It’s barely let up. I powered through two school tours and meetings yesterday. Topped off with soccer practice. If I concentrate really hard, it will back off a bit. But as soon as I let my guard down – WHAM. Those sumo wrestlers in my belly are at it again. The minute the hubby got home from work last night, I flopped down on the bed and didn’t wake up again until much later. Bedspread markings across my face. I was able to finally eat a bit at dinner, but then it socked me again and I was in bed for the rest of the night.

Today I feel the swirls and whirls of protest against the nothing I had at breakfast. “Thanks a latte…” I dunno. What the hell. Bring it on universe. (You know?)

TODAY’S THEME SONG: Lucky. Radiohead. It’s gonna be a glorious day. I feel my luck could change.


One Response to “>Sometimes it’s your birthday”

  1. shandreamer April 14, 2008 at 11:06 pm #

    >Birthday woman. Mine is the 22nd (19plus you know…)Let’s have a meal, a smile, a conversation!S


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