Before Christmas when we were celebrating my brother's birthday, Gianna wanted to know whose birthday would be next. When I told her it would be mine she exclaimed, "Oh, happy birthday, Mommy!" I told her it wasn't then, but we'd have to wait until January. "Oh, when Beauty and the Beast comes to the movies?" This child doesn't forget a thing.
I knew Gianna would be disappointed if she didn't have a gift for me (that would've been an Daddy date) and I didn't think it would be good for me to take her shopping, so I sought the help of one of my 'shopping for sport' friends who also is the mother of two boys and who has always felt a little deprived of the girl-mommy experience. They went shopping and I had a few hours to myself. Win-win. Gianna was so cute when they got back. She wanted desperately to tell me everything she got for me but every time I cut her off - she said, "Well, Mommy -- we just got you an elephant." (That was her coaching from Sissy.) Sissy really wanted Gianna to 'wrap' (bag) the gifts herself. There FOUR bags of really sweet gifts.
Well, they were mostly sweet. One bag in particular included questionable contents. My friend said when Gianna picked it out she turned to her and said, "Oh Ms. Sissy, do you think if we got this for Mommy - she would share." I couldn't imagine what it could be.
And then after my birthday dinner with my family, I opened them all up. It was easy to spot the curious choice....
a FINGER and a little RAT!!!
She was so proud - and yes, I DEFINITELY shared.
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I know my closest friends were concerned about my upcoming birthday and that it wouldn't be the same - maybe even difficult and sad - without Iain. They wanted to be intentional about celebrating it, but also wanted to be respectful of my needs and wants.
Two of my closest circles of friends planned different things for me.
My special 'sister friends' (who have been unbelievable in their support and practical help) took me out to eat one night at a wonderful restaurant at the casino - and then to a fun dessert shop. They even provided me with childcare. So nice - and low key.
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The second group of friends I have known since HS/college (and one since elementary). They also gave me a list of options (I poo-pooed the party idea) and I settled on a lunch/movie date on the day of my birthday. One of the girls hosted at her home and made soup and a panini bar for lunch. Another friend had a birthday the next day - so I was MORE than happy to share the spotlight. After lunch we watched a movie. If you haven't seen Connie & Carla - it's a hoot.
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On the night before my birthday - Gianna and I were a little stir crazy (weekends are so hard and lonely) so I knew we should get out of the house. I decided to take her to a restaurant for supper and when she asked why I told her it would be my birthday supper. "It's January twenty-fird? I can't believe this! Happy Birthday, Mommy!" She was beside herself. I explained that the next day was really my birthday, but this night would be our little family celebration. (Having a family of two is taking a lot of getting used to.)
So, we are seated and the waitress approaches with the usual spiel. Gianna pipes up (without prompting) and says in one breath,
"I would like macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, chocolate milk - I've never had chocolate milk. And it's my Mommy's birthday, can you make her a cake."
The waitress was as surprised and entertained as I was. Gianna had the most adorable conversation with her and I continue to marvel at her social skills.
Gianna was beside herself when they actually brought a birthday cake. She couldn't believe she made it happen. (I couldn't believe she thought to ask. She's never seen a cake at a restaurant before.)
The waitress, stayed to watch her first bite and it was worth watching.
She closed her eyes and made the precious, appropriate mini-moaning noise.
"This is ah-MAY-zing!!!
It would have made the best commercial.