My birthday was yesterday, and at the risk of sounding cynical, I keep my birthday expectations really low. Like, non-existent. That way I’m always surprised that anything at all gets done to celebrate it. I’m a real kill-joy, I know.
And I kind of buck against the idea of adult birthday parties. I don’t want to invite you to a social event where you feel obligated to bring me a gift. Maybe you would have brought a gift out of the goodness of your heart, but, still, the idea is a little awkward to me.
But, yesterday may have changed how I will celebrate others’ birthdays forever.
It really was a normal day. So normal, in fact, I had to be up and ready to take one of my kids to the dentist at 7:30. But my sweet husband remembered and wished me a happy birthday while I was getting ready. Truthfully, I had totally forgotten.
Then, that cute boy I was taking to the dentist gave me a bag of m&m’s in the car. A big deal for him, since, you know, candy.
Before I even got that boy dropped off at school, a friend called to wish me a happy day. And she’s not even on Facebook! That means she has it written in her calendar!
I got home and got a text invitation to lunch, picked up the boys from school where another friend gave me a small cake, went to said delicious lunch complete with brownie for dessert, and came home to flowers from my husband.
But, wait, there’s more! My doorbell rang with flowers from a dear friend who lives in Idaho, and when I walked out the door to take some books back to the library, another friend had put a “Happy Birthday” banner on my garage door.
I came back from the library to a beautiful handmade card from the sweet friend who took me to lunch, my visiting teachers stopped by with a gift, brownies, and hugs, another friend stopped in to give me a hug, my mom made me a delicious angel food cake with strawberries and bananas, and I got a few gifts from my family.
The true highlight, though, was a simple text from someone I’m trying to rebuild a relationship with. The fact that that person, who also isn’t on Facebook, remembered and acknowledged my birthday was truly the best of all.
Now, I’m not telling you all about this to show how spoiled I was (I really was), but to let you know that I truly was surprised and amazed. Writing this blog has caused me to shed tears about things that haven’t really been thought too much about in a while, and it was such a true gift to be reminded that I have some very dear friends who care about me.
It also showed me that I need to be a better friend and let other people know they are important to me and I love them. All of these people went out of their way to show me they loved me. I can do that, too.
36 is the year of being a better friend.