Monday, December 04, 2006

I turned 40, right on schedule.


Yesterday was my birthday. Sometimes 40 seems momentous and other times like just another day. Mostly the latter and I think I'm happy with that.


Saturday I was a room supervisor for the SAT's. I had to get up at 5:30 (really, should anyone be awake at that hour?) and arrive at the college at 7:00. I was happy to be assigned the 7th and 8th graders room. They're still so sweet and happy to follow directions at that age. One little boy ended up skipping ahead on his answer sheet (he recorded section six in section five), but we caught it at the beginning of the next section and once I told him it would be fine he didn't stress over it.

My biggest stress was thinking about how Lydia would be doing without me. This was just the second time I've left her for longer than it takes to run up to the store for a few things. She is still nursing more than eating food. So I worry about whether she is crying for me and I'm uncomfortable from not nursing for that long. The last test I did she was fine (in October), and it seems she was this time, too. Ingrate.

I got home at about 1:20 or so and noticed a bunch of cars next door. Wow. The guy who never has anyone over must be having a party. Do you see where this is heading? Because I didn't. I was tired, what little makeup I had put on that morning at dark o'clock had disappeared and my only wish was to nurse the baby and take a nap with her.

As I opened the front door Billiam was there and my very first thought was that I really liked the new shirt he had on, but when did he get it? A second later all these people yelled, "SURPRISE!" So I turned around and walked back out the door into the yard. I might have said a four letter word.

Yes, my darling husband had been planning and plotting. I cannot believe I did not have even an ounce of suspicion.

The guest list included my three best friends (from junior high) and their families, our neighbors from the house I lived in the longest when I was growing up (we moved a lot), including their son who I always referred to as my little brother (he's like 6 foot fifteen now) and his wife and daughter, and family members. Notably absent, my brother, but he didn't come to my wedding, either. Not. Bitter. At. All. I should add that the there is no malice in his absences. Just circumstances. The kids were all excited beyond words to have surprised me, most of them having just found out about the party that morning, themselves. A wise decision on Billiam's part, I am sure.

We had barbecue from my favorite place and extremely tasty chocolate mousse cakes at the end. Mmm I loves me some chocolate mousse cake. I will let you know over the next few years if my candle wishes come true.

There was live entertainment provided by my darling Jake's band. I just gotta love teenage boys who play punk music performing for my fortieth birthday party. Tough guys, one and all. They played some of their own music and, as per my wish, they played Elvis Costello's "Welcome to the Working Week," and even threw in one of my best most faves, "Alison." Had I known I was having a party, I would have requested some Indigo Girls, but what can you do?


I wish I had some photos to share, but since I am the photographer in the family, I have none. I know there were some taken by others and, if you are someone who took them and I look hideous in them, please consider it my birthday wish that you not share them. I would not pass around unflattering photos of you and hope you'll return the favor. You know who you are.

And to my sweetheart...Honey, thank you. I still can't believe you did it. You rock.

Jake's band, fresh from their performance at a Red Cross benefit show, Sunday night




Baby Me with my brother, circa 1967 and 1968

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5 Comments:

Blogger Pearls Mother said...

Happy birthday Gretchen,
Congrats to Billiam for arranging the surprise.
Sounds like a fabulous party
and
someone will have photos.
You are now fabulous and forty!
Lindy

12/04/2006 4:59 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

Happy Birthday Gretchen! Sounds like it was a great one :o)

12/04/2006 6:15 PM  
Anonymous knitnzu said...

Happy Birthday! I totally empathize about the nursing and absense issues, and the little ingrates! Mine survived fine too, he's 11 now. I thought the standardized tests were on computer now...no? 40 was a rough spring for me! I gave myself a concussion, caught myself on fire at the stove, dh forgot anniversary as usual (he's really not a bad guy...) and did nada for bd, and I don't remember what all else but there was something...but I got a great make up gift...my first kayak for mother's day!

12/04/2006 6:54 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Thanks! And Knitnzu--I hope my year is less...painful.

12/04/2006 11:41 PM  
Blogger Angela Martínez said...

Glad to hear that your birthday was a great one. A surprise party and everything! Wow!

Sorry that your brother didn't make it. I think there's always that one family member that does that year after year, and it sucks. But hey, you had a handsome bunch of boys to play punked up Costello, and who could ask for more than that.

A belated happy birthday wish from me.

12/07/2006 9:08 AM  

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