Today is my birthday. I am 34 years old.
The tinies asked me why I wasn’t having a surprise party. I said, “I don’t like surprises. Or parties, for that matter. But I had a surprise party once – Auntie Mandy threw me a surprise party for my sweet sixteen. And that was….um….18 years ago now.” And then I fell down dead.
How is it even possible that I’m 18 years away from that Sweet Sixteen party in my parents’ basement in south Calgary? I remember they rented a hot tub for the winter night in the backyard and someone gave me my first VHS tape: The Lion King. When my Dad thanked one of the guys for coming to my party, he made little guns with his hands, pointed them at my father, and drawled, “No way, man, thank you.” My Dad still hasn’t stopped laughing about that kid.
For my birthday, Brian got me a vintage Sears typewriter. My grandparents’ worked at Sears nearly their entire lives, and so it’s a sentimental choice. I have wanted a typewriter for years. He also gave me a gigantic Dairy Milk chocolate bar (you see why I love him). I sat down to pound at it for a while this morning. And I found myself telling Anne about how I used to write stories and book reports on typewriters, and this is how I learned to type so fast, and her eyes widened and she said, Wow, Mum, that really was the olden days.
I joked last year that 33 was “My Jesus Year” (because in most church traditions, Jesus did the whole “Death and Resurrection Thing” in his thirty-third year and so people try to make their 33rd year very meaningful). I did not actually plan on thirty-three being such a turning point year for me, but it was and now I’m looking forward to thirty four.
In honour of my birthday, I’m ready to confess a few things. For starters, I swear. A lot. I don’t swear when I’m angry. I swear for fun, because it makes me laugh, and because it feels naughty. When I start to feel truly comfortable with a new friend, I have a King’s Speech moment and then, if they laugh, I know whether or not we’ll truly be friends. Swearing is so satisfying at times.
Let’s see….what else? I read celebrity news. (Can you imagine if Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn have a baby?) I have Googled myself (I do not recommend that one). I’ve contemplated shutting down my blog and writing about things like making soap because it seems easier to me somehow. I am pretty thankful the photographer used Photoshop for my author picture because I look about 20 pounds lighter in that picture than I am in real life. (Or at least I think she did…Tina? Don’t tell me. Let me live in ignorance.) I have a weakness for GIF-based Tumblrs and Meme-humour. (Clearly.) I have had a cup of tea almost every single day of this whole Lent water fast thing. I comfort myself by donating a bit of extra money to justify it. A couple of people I admire from afar emailed me this week and with all of my responses, I slobbered and flailed and generally made a fool of myself. I’m sure they regret being nice to me now. #FanGirl I have wished for a containment pod in the mini-van – either for me or for the tinies – usually after hollering how I JUST WANT TWO MINUTES OF SILENCE. Also, I told my four-year-old that he wasn’t allowed to ask me another question for at least 10 minutes. And then for ten minutes, I heard: “Mum, is it ten minutes yet? Why ten minutes? Can I ask a question now? Now? Now? Now? Why are there street signs? Why do we wear seat belts? Why is it sunny?” I despise packing school lunches and usually resort to sending a jam sandwich as the main course. I never answer the telephone because I loathe the phone with a deep and dark and deadly passion, and I ignore voicemail religiously.
I feel so much lighter. What a nice way to head into my Jesus Year + 1.