Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Birthdays for Grown Ups

Several people were surprised to find me working on my birthday yesterday.  It was the first day of a new quarter, but even if it hadn't been, I'd have likely still come to work.  Clearly I'm not as invested in the actual date of my birth as some people are in theirs.

I wonder if it has to do with having a summer birthday.  For children with summer birthdays, there are no cupcakes brought in for the whole class.  Maybe elementary schools don't do that anymore.

My high school used to have lockers, and for a friend's birthday, her friends (did males do this?) would wrap the locker door with paper.  One of my best friends papered my locker for Christmas, since my summer birthday meant I would never experience the joy otherwise.  And yes, it was joy.  It was a complete surprise.  But more than that, it showed me that my friend really knew me, and for a perpetual new kid, that gift was the best one of all.

We did some festive things over the week-end before my birthday, but we'd have likely done those anyway.  I didn't think we'd do much at the end of my work day, but my spouse was full of surprises.

I got home thinking we'd have wine, cheese, and crackers, one of my favorite meals.  We listened to a delightful phone message from my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew.  They sang the happy birthday song, complete with cha-cha-chas, and a strange ending message about chicken and the need to eat more chicken (a reference to a Chick-Fil-A meal?  A commentary on my planned dinner?).  And then, since we were near the back door, my spouse said, "Come outside and see what I've done."

Now he often says this, as he's been relandscaping the yard, so I still had no sense that he'd planned a surprise.  I walked outside to find a bike with a bow!

It's a beautiful bike, a Schwinn.  I am partial to Schwinns, as my best bikes have been Schwinns.  I realize that the company is very different now, but old loves die hard.  My spouse got a basket too, so we could ride to the store, if we only need a few things.

We spent the next 20 minutes adjusting the seat and riding up and down the street in front of our house.  Did I wear a helmet?  No.  It felt like a throwback to childhood, my childhood, before children wore seatbelts, sunscreen, or helmets--what a treat! 

Let me note that if we'd had any traffic, I would have put a helmet on my hide--and yes, I know that I could fall off the bike and hurt my head even with nary a car in sight.

Happily, that didn't happen.  We locked up the bike and headed inside to enjoy my birthday meal of cheese, crackers, carrots, spinach dip, and wine.  It was a very good meal, to end a very good day.

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