Thursday, February 3, 2011

it's my party and i'll cry if i want to.

{from here}

There's just something special about your birthday, even when all you can eat is mashed potatoes and applesauce.

I kept telling myself that all day long yesterday, as I postponed parties and sipped Gatorade and missed blowing out candles on a birthday cake.

Want to know a secret? For as much ado as I make about it, my birthday almost never goes as planned.

There was my 13th birthday, when I spilled water all over myself and my family at Red Lobster -- embarrassing on the day you're supposed to be a little bit more grown-up. (And clearly traumatic, or I wouldn't remember it.) That same week, I also contracted strep throat. Two years later, I had to postpone my birthday party with friends due to some sickness or another. On my 16th birthday, my mother, not feeling well herself, came to pick me up from school, and I had to call an ambulance for her just a few moments later. My 22nd birthday, I was in bed with a throat abscess. (I have a history of sickness on my birthday, which I knew going into this 25th year. And I was obnoxious about it, telling all sick people around me to stay away: I had a birthday coming up. How naive.) Almost every year, it rains.

What I'm saying here is I don't have perfect birthdays. I just don't.

But when I look back, I don't really think too often about the strep throat, or the ambulance, or the delayed celebration.

Mostly I think about sleepovers and hayless hayrides and pretty presents and balloons and funny cards and my family singing "happy birthday" very loudly and very off-key.

And sitting on the couch, working from home, kept company by Detectives Stabler and Benson, wasn't how I pictured greeting my 25th year.

(I believe my original picture had a pretty dress and fun music and maybe a pedicure and really, really good food.)

But you know what? Maybe this was some type of test. Because I asked for grace. And even though there were moments of self-pity (which I think, under the circumstances, were understandable) and doubt and frustration, I tried really hard to enjoy it.

To enjoy being curled up in bed, watching Gilmore Girls reruns.

To enjoy good books and dumb movies and lots and lots of sleep.

To enjoy funny emails and texts and Facebook messages from friends.

To enjoy the fact that I was turning a corner, and that something besides chicken noodle soup even sounded remotely pleasant to my little stomach. 

I know I didn't always have the best attitude, and I really, truly wish this week would have looked a little bit differently.

But maybe these were baby steps toward the grace I was talking about.

My party has been postponed, and I am okay with it. This is huge for me, and I will accept it as success.

Plus, there is always something to celebrate. And there is always next week.

I am always up for a do-over.


Amanda said...

Oh, dear! It's no fun to be sick, and DOUBLE no fun to be sick on your birthday (been there, done that too). You're keeping a great attitude about it, though. And I hope you feel better soon!

stephanie said...

you know what, you get birthday MONTH!!

Melanie said...

Bad birthdays are the absolute worth. Do over! Do over!

Bec said...

I've had my fair share of birthday disasters as well- getting sick, house flooding the day of the party, etc...but some of those disaster bdays have the best memories!