Birthdays and expectations

There is something about birthdays that is still so special to me, even after celebrating so many of my own and others’. Our children were always given a choice of what they’d like to eat on their birthdays. For mine, I would simply ensure that I had something I liked, or maybe I’d get taken out for dinner. I started making my own cake or my daughter would make one for me. I was always disappointed in store-bought cake.

Last year on my birthday I was completely spoiled by our visitors. They cooked for me and made cupcakes. This year I thought it might be grim. We were away from home and staying in a house with my in-laws, but we were the only ones not jet-lagged. Our children weren’t there.

I woke up at my usual time but no one else was awake. We had no car or method of travel yet we were out in the country, miles from any public transit. I went for a walk to calm myself. I did some yoga to focus my mind. I sent messages to my family, still all asleep, thousands of miles away.

There was nothing wrong with the birthday, but I started it too early, before the rest of my world woke up. By the time I went to bed, and even the next morning, I had lots of birthday wishes and love sent my way.

In fact, I was offered my choice of what to have for dinner. I was also tasked with finding a cake on our trip to the store. It was the best store-bought chocolate cake I’ve ever had.

I still love birthdays, no matter how old I get. I have to adjust expectations sometimes, but usually it all ends up happy.

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