Monday, May 23, 2011

Five Dollars Worth of Helium Happy Birthday

As every person reading this probably knows, I turned 30 yesterday.

I did not go sing karaoke as I had planned for the last half of my 20’s. Nor did I make it to the park to play Frisbee, as I had planned since the last part of last week. I did not get to a coffee shop to sit and sulk, alone, as I had relished doing on my 29th birthday. I did not have an impromptu BBQ, given by my husband only to have him be reminded by our guests that it was my birthday (and I should say he has never forgotten since then). I did not make a tour of bars in Tacoma, ending in a colorful array of shots and a game of ping pong, as I had done on my 21st. I did not have a skating party at the Skate Deck, with the private party room that smelled of popcorn and shoe spray, as I had for my 8th birthday. It probably doesn’t count as a slumber party, since I am married and always share the bed, and rarely do we have pillow fights, so it was nothing like my 10th or 11th birthdays, either. I did not get my driver’s license, like at 16. I did not dress up and eat dinner at The Palisades or El Gaucho, like I did at 17 and 23. I didn’t have a brand new baby to take care of like I did for my 25th and 28th birthdays, respectively. It was probably a lot like my 18th or 20th birthdays, since I have no recollection of either of these significant years.

Perhaps yesterday will be memorable for several reasons, not the least of these being that I actually made it to 30. The Rapture contained itself, the world as we know it did not end in flames and damnation, and I got to finish out my 20s, thank you very much, God.

The second greatest moment was waking up to a giant balloon. Not just a mylar-helium Happy Birthday, this was the big one. My husband said that there was at least $5 worth of helium holding this up in the air. If I had been turning 3 instead of 30 I may have carried it around with me everywhere I went—for the rest of the week.

More exciting than the balloon, the bouquet of flowers, the subsequent mimosa after my husband finally woke up, was the excitement in my children’s faces and exclamations when they realized that it was my birthday. There was no need for me to get all worked up because both kids ran around the house jumping for joy, as if it were really the most fantastic holiday, better than Christmas. Each one wishing me Happy Birthday sporadically throughout the day, including hugs, and sometimes a song. There is no way karaoke can compare to a two-year-old singing you happy birthday, then helping you blow out your candles—twice (I relit them because I am a grown up and I am allowed to use a lighter if I want).

I began my day with a giant balloon, later rode the bus (for fun) to the UW Street Fair with my daughter, who was heartbroken when I tried to go to the library by myself and do some “work” on my special day. But, we ate kettle corn, had a slushie, some 17 year old kid in clown pants made us an awkward balloon creation, and we dodged weirdos together all afternoon. Who could ask for more than that?

Then my husband and Thing Two picked us up in the Subaru and we headed to my mom’s house for the most amazing dinner of Black Cod, my favorite roasted corn and avocado salad, clilantro lime rice, and a gluten free chocolate cake that my mother adorned with the traditional flaming 3-0. I drank wine, but not too much. Ate a lot of great food. Saw my family. Went home. Watched The Killing, (which, as a side note, I was slightly perturbed by the scenes of the Public Market, whereby the perpetrator is spotted at the bottom of the escalator in what looks like a mall, not the Pike Place Market I’m used to). It was an excellent birthday. When you plan nothing you will always be surprised.

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