It is officially my birthday weekend. Yesterday we celebrated at work with Crumbs cupcakes and milk in the small conference room on our floor. I had a sitting job last night with a family I've come to know well over the past 6 months or so. When the door opened I found a tow-head two-year-old thrusting a purple envelope into my hands. Both the envelope and the card were decorated with crayon kisses, x-marks mixed in with the thoughtfully written message his mom had penned. "Wishing you a very happy birthday with love and very best wishes." Then mom asked if her excited boy wanted to show me my birthday treats in the refrigerator. After some effort I was given an upside down box filled with a dozen Crumbs mini-cupcakes, a big hug and kiss.
I'm not one to wax poetic about how old I am. I know I'm not old and most of the time I have always felt younger than I really am. If anything, this birthday just makes me think of my last. I'd ended up booking a ticket two weeks prior to the date because I realized none of my new-found friends had plans to be in the city. It is what comes of one's birthday falling on Labor Day weekend. I was fairly disenchanted and frustrated with the idea, however, a bonus visit home was nothing to complain about. The actual date of my birthday was relatively low-key and normal, filled with family, Scrabble games, birthday cake and presents like all the childhood birthdays. This year my brother (who will be visiting me in NY on his birthday) and I were given a "fake party" complete with a chocolate chocolate cake' our names scripted on it in neon green icing and candles for us to blow out as a pair. Suddenly I felt nine again and imagined myself back at the park with my ballerina cake. That cake was awesome. I've since realized my birthdays will always contain elements of childhood. No matter how old I get my family will make sure they are special events, even to be celebrated weeks before hand, if need be.
Last year I threw myself a birthday party at a bar when I returned to NY. I invited pretty much everyone I knew and and a few friends came to help me celebrate. My expectations were high, I imagined a very New York birthday and while many friends didn't disappoint, the rain kept others away. Turns out I'm not one for party planning. This year I am simply going out with my roommate and another friend and hoping to plan a couple brunches. I think about how much life has changed since the summer days wore away last year. Consider, slow down, enjoy.
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