Birthday wishes

My birthday was last week. My birthdays have been more than a little somber the last two years because I lost some dear people smack dab before, on and after my birthday. But somehow, despite the fog of grief, my family and friends turned the bad days into good ones in the end. Tears and laughter seem to go together.

After about the most reeling 36 hours of my life, my family came together on what happened to be my 32nd birthday and we went to lunch at a Mexican joint. Later, my uncle sent me this photo, and it made me laugh. My mom, of course being the loving mom she is, asked if they had a birthday special as soon as we sat down. The waiter said yes. And then my husband made a joke to the waiter about putting a big hat on my head. The waiter said one word: "sombrero". After the meal, you know what happened.
There were actually 5 waiters singing. The very first thought as they put the sombrero on my head was that it would be really terrible if I started to cry. And the second thought was that it would actually be pretty funny if I started to cry. Like Saturday Night Live sketch funny. My third thought was that life is truly absurd so I might as well embrace the moment.

Debbe's post prompted me to fully embrace my birthday this year. Even if the celebration is a little overdue.

{12 birthday facts}

Fact: I had at least one McDonald's birthday party as a kid and I have to admit that stacking those Big Mac containers was one of the best games ever.

Fact: In high school we went to the kid's pizza/arcade place for my 16th. Skeeball is my favorite. I happily risked teenage humiliation for skeeball.

Fact: We also went to the Chuck E. Cheese for my 6th birthday. I lucked out and got a skeeball machine that continuously spit out tickets. You know, because it was birthday. My dad made me split my tickets with one of my best friends who didn't have many. I was sour, thinking, "hey, it's my birthday!". But I knew he was right, even though my dream for the very biggest prize in the case burst.

Fact: I'll take any dessert for my birthday, but particularly love the ones made by my mom. Anything she makes, I love love love.

Fact: I don't remember where we went for my 21st birthday. Not because I got too wasted to remember, but because I really wasn't a drinker. I do remember a glass of wine with dinner, and then maybe a daiquiri or something slushy and fruity like that.

Fact: I love the cheap sugary frosting. The kind on the grocery store cakes. (btw, we had grocery store cake for our wedding and it was awesome, although I had to beg them to make square tiers. And then instruct them on how to do it.). But back to birthdays...

Fact: 6th grade pool party. All the girls lined up, jumping in the pool together. Lemon ice cream cake, homemade by my mom of course. My middle childhood favorite.

Fact: A few years ago I tried to make lemon ice cream cake for my friend's birthday. I couldn't find lemon ice cream so I tried to mix lemon flavoring in vanilla ice cream. It tasted like rubbing alcohol. Not like my mom's.

Fact: I always go through half the year feeling like I'm my next age. So it feels like I've been 32 since about March.

Fact: Back to school time. In second grade I started a new school...on my birthday. I went to class scared and sad that it was my birthday, but my teacher wrote Happy Birthday Sara on the chalkboard. I loved her for that.

Fact: Best present. Hmmm. Kind of amazing we get so caught up in presents and then most of the time we don't even remember them. I guess my first car at 16 was my best present. My dad was adamant that we begin our journey to independence by buying a car and paying for it ourselves. He actually paid for half. I paid for the other half, insurance, and gas. It was a tiny blue Toyota Tercel, that we later called Smash because I drove it for a year with a smashed up front end after an unfortunate but very lucky icy road collision with a speeding SUV. That car gave me a lot of freedom and a lot of responsibility, and somehow kept me alive.

Fact: Oh wait. Now I remember now. 7th birthday. Cabbage Patch. Girls. Squealing. Jumping up and down. Euphoria.

Yes, it's good to be born and to celebrate.

2 comments:

Mrs. Church said...

...I thought I remember you saying you were in Chelsea for Mexican, but it looks just like a place in Ypsi. ? Hmm. Either way, you look super cute. Way to be a trooper on such a difficult day. Love you lots and can't wait to celebrate a million more bdays with you. :)

Elizabeth Downie said...

Happy birthday! I'm sorry your birthday was mixed as far as emotions are concerned. Love that picture of you.

Let's please get together soon? Come to the demolition derby with us! :) Sarah will be there too.