51st Birthday

My 51st Birthday landed on a school day, which I found a favorable outcome. During school hours are the only time I can get some guilt free down time for myself. I had a leisure day planned, a long run, reflexology, a hot shower and a good chunk of time to read the novel I’m totally into this week, “I Have Some Questions For You” by Rebecca Makkai.

We started the day waking early to go get the Calisoff birthday tradition breakfast that everyone on their birthday gets – donuts and egg sandwiches from Dunkin’ Donuts.

Birthday Breakfast and Gifts

I was spoiled by many gifts this birthday: money, massages, expensive chocolates, Lululemon gift cards, kitchen supplies, a blanket and gloves from Adam, my father and my sister as well as a check from my mother-in-law.

After we got rid of all the kids, I was daydreaming about all my free time while on the way to drop Adam at work that morning. Then, the phone rang. It was the car repair shop letting us know the car is ready. Being frugal, I insisted on driving up and getting the car that day. But in our haste we forgot that the second key to the car was at our house. We didn’t realize it. until we drove an hour away to the suburb that our car was in. So up and back to the suburbs twice was how I spend most of my free morning.

When I got back I realized I had to finish preparing the Hanukah bears before I took any time to for myself.

Jack has early dismissal on Wednesdays so he came home while I was fussing over the bears and very sweetly helped me dress the bears for their scene in the morning.

Jack Helping me put Onesies on the Bears

Jack struggled mightily stuffing the bears into onesies and when he finally wrangled them in, the onesies was backward and he had to start again. I told him he would make a terrible father and he jokingly started punching the bears in response.

When we finally got the bears ready I had less than an hour before the twins after school pickup. I could have read then, but I decided I would go support the high school soccer booster club that I’m volunteering for. They were having a team building event for the girls teams. I’m glad I went because it gave me a better sense of the girls side of the program, which I was never privy to before I volunteered.

After that it was time to pick up the twins. It was surprisingly warm for this time of year so they stayed and played for a bit in the playground.

When we got home I had just enough time to make dinner for the kids and change for my date night with Adam. I booked a new Indian Michelin Starred restaurant called Indienne. It was gorgeous food but very fancy and I suspect Adam dutifully suffered without complaint through the entire dinner, good husband that he is.

YOGURT CHAT – Crispy Potato, Raspberry Chat Masala, Assorted Chutneys

When we got home, we found the kids all in the basement fighting with each other. I pulled the twins into my room. Aaron was complaining bitterly about how he just wanted to play in the basement but everyone was in his way. I explained to him that the basement belongs to everyone, it’s a common space and we all have to learn how to share. Later I realized that all the kids felt the same way, that they wanted to use the space and felt entitled to it, and the other kids were encroaching. Everyone was operating from their own point of view and no one was thinking about the other persons point of view. Perhaps instead of gratitude training in the house we should be doing empathy training?

Once that settled the kids got in line to get homework help from me. The kids needed me to help them regardless of the date. I am fully aware that the secret to happiness is not the pursuit of hedonistic activities, but feeling a sense of purpose in life. However, getting the reminder of my purpose as a mother on my birthday kind of sucked.

Finally it was time for bed and I asked Adam as a final birthday request that we go to sleep early, to skip watching a show together as we sometimes do before bed. I needed to get up early to stage the bears.

It was not the birthday I planned in my head in the weeks and days leading up to this day. However, in the end it felt better to go to sleep knowing I got everything done that I needed to instead of trying to carve out free time where there isn’t any. Confucious said, “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” I’d rather bend to the storm than break trying to stand my ground.

Stay tuned for the Hanukah Bear show! Coming soon….

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