I woke up this morning more excited than I did on Christmas...
because it's my BIRTHDAY! My favorite day of the year! And I'll tell anybody and everybody! I have no shame! It's my birthday! Hooray, hooray!
And I could finally open the package that came almost a week ago from my Mom:
I am thrilled with these; I've been skimming them and they look so wonderful. I am very excited. Thanks, Mama.
This next present I actually got to open when it arrived, because Al was so excited that it had come:
This is no ordinary birthday gift. I was once the proud owner of a beautiful blue ceramic drum, which I purchased directly from the man who made it at an SCA event (His name escapes me, but he was a member of Rolling Thunder, and he looked like Inigo Montoya).
I treasured that drum. I took it with me to all sorts of places. I gave it a place of honor wherever I lived. My mother and I banged on it at the turn of the millennium while drinking Veuve Clicquot. I was devoted.
(I knew this is a terrible picture, but I thought we had so many more years together.)
But on the day I moved to Virginia, it fell out of the moving truck, onto Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, and shattered into a pile of ceramic chunks, and a piece of hide. I was quite distraught. I let out a wail that reverberated off the brick buildings around me. People for five blocks around turned to see what that terrible mourning sound was.
And I'm no rhythmical genius, but banging on a drum is quite therapeutic, and I've missed it these 18 months.
So for my birthday this year, I, who am usually against asking for specific things, asked Al for a new drum. I knew it was coming, but he found it. Isn't it beautiful? He deliberately chose it for the woman on the side. The glaze on my old drum had, I suppose in the firing, formed a vague shape of a woman flying through the clouds. So Al thought this would be a proper homage to my old friend.
It already feels like part of the family. And this time, it has a padded case.
And just now, while I wrote this, the doorbell rang yet again (the phone and the doorbell have been ringing like crazy, and I feel so loved), and this arrived from my 3-month-old sister Olivia.
Oh, she my be just a wee thing, but she and I are already kindred spirits.
I love my birthday. I'm neither happy nor unhappy about my age, which is 32 today. Thirty-two used to sound so, not old, but adult. I think I once envisioned myself in my 30s as being all-knowing, all-wise, grown-up. But in all my 32 years, what I've truly learned is that the older I get, the less I know. I really don't know anything. And that's okay. Because it makes life more of an adventure.
But I love that I get a day every year to surround myself with bright colors and cheerfulness and indulge. Even if I have to share it with this guy, who finally had good news this year.