On February 18th, I turned 43 years old. Often, I will pass my birthday off as just another day. But this time, I was looking forward to celebrating it. Not with anything wildly elaborate, but I thought taking the kids to a Hibachi restaurant for the first time would be a festive way to enjoy good food and family time. I knew the knife flipping, salt and pepper shaking, grill sizzling would literally have them on the edge of their seats. Yes, Anderson raised his voice louder than he should out of sheer excitement, but after all “This was the best dinner EVER!!!”
And when Vivian caught the shrimp mid-air in her mouth, she expressed the same sentiments. Looking back on the evening, I have to say, it was everything I hoped for. This was one of the most enjoyable birthdays I have ever had. Not because it was elaborate, but because the four of us simply wanted it to be special. My daughter chose to dress-up (that’s a relative term, but let’s just say she wore something upgraded from the leggings and t-shirt she wears every day). My son was well mannered and behaved in public (which can only be accomplished with a concerted effort to “be good” and my husband and I actually felt like we could sit back and enjoy the meal rather than having to “police” the kids’ behavior and enforce “clean plates”. It was fun, relaxed and special. So, I think I have reshaped the way I feel about birthdays, especially mine. Birthdays should be celebrated, and in the process we build memories, feel grateful and feel special. These are the blessings worth reminiscing about tomorrow and everyday.