It’s all about me. Or at least it should be. And I make sure that it IS all about me on at least one day per year..my birthday.
I have only two requests on my birthday…1)Attention, and lots of it. 2)Cake, because what’s a birthday without a little cake to mark the occaision. (and it needs to have my name on it, because otherwise it’s not a birthday cake. Just a random cake pretending to be a birthday cake.)
Thankfully, after so many years together, my husband fully understands this and is willing to indulge my princess-like behavior on my birthday. So on my birthday the first thing he did for me was allow me to sleep in. There are only a few days a year I get to do that. Not that my kids wake up super early, normally they get up between 6:45 and 7:00 and being a morning person I’m almost always the one to get up with them. (Matt conversely is a night owl. It takes an act of God to get him moving in the morning). And while 7:00 is probably “sleeping in” to most parents, there are times where, morning person or not, I just don’t want to get up at that time. My birthday was one of those times. We didn’t get home from hockey until almost 11:00 the night before, and by the time I unwound and went to bed it was midnight. So, even though he’d been up just as late as I had, Matt got up at 7 with the kids and let me enjoy another 90 minutes of blissful rest.
We kept our plans for my birthday pretty simple. Our plans included staying home and playing board games, going out to a nice dinner as a family, and then driving around to look at Christmas lights. It’s funny, having my birthday so close to Christmas means that as a child my parents made a huge deal out of making sure that my birthday was not lost in the shuffle of holiday activities (in fact I blame them for my princess-like attitude about my birthday) so you’d think then as an adult I would not want to mix Christmas and birthday activities either. And for the most part you’d be right. There’s nothing I hate more than celebrating Christmas on my birthday. But for whatever reason, I love to drive around and look at Christmas lights.
So after a lovely and relaxing afternoon spent in the comfort of my own home with my husband and children showering attention on me, we drove to an Italian restaurant just a couple miles from the house to enjoy a birthday meal. Unfortunately, the restaurant is quite popular and being the weekend before Christmas the wait for dinner was 50-60 minutes. It was already after 5, the kids were hungry and neither Matt nor I had eaten a very large lunch in anticipation of our Italian feast so we didn’t think waiting an hour would be a very good idea. We were all a little disappointed, but my birthday dinner wasn’t about where we went. So we went to Plan B, which meant we dined at a local burger joint just down the street from the Italian restaurant. In truth, the change in venue was probably more enjoyable for the kids as they were able to talk the waitstaff into coming to our table to announce loudly for the entire restaurant that it was my birthday and then present me with a hot fudge sundae.
After dinner, we loaded the kids back into the van and headed for home to get ready for our holiday lights tour. At home, we had each of the kids make a trip into the bathroom (no sense in repeating the problems we had after the hockey game the night before…) and then change into their pajamas. Once properly outfitted, each was allowed to select a blanket of choice from their bed to take along in the car. While Matt finished getting them ready to go, I selected a few holiday movies to take along and play in the van’s DVD player. (I learned very quickly that my kids don’t enjoy looking at holiday lights nearly as well as I do and grow bored after approximately 8 houses. Thank goodness for vehicles with rear entertainment systems.)
So we got everyone loaded into the van, and snuggled up with their blankets and set off. The kids were so intent on their movies that we were able to go all over town, and spent a good couple hours looking at lights. By the time we had finished two of the three kids were fast asleep in the backseat (hence the pajamas) and we headed for home to put them into bed.
Another successful birthday celebration had come and gone, and all that was left now was to prepare ourselves for Christmas.