Every Wednesday, I wake up at 5 am. I get coffee, do work for an hour, then get ready to leave for the office at about 6:40. Yesterday was routine. However as I got my coffee, I heard Chris rummaging around in our bedroom closet. I smiled to myself. The only reason he would be up at 5 am would be to wish his lovely wife of nearly 18 years a terrific birthday and perhaps hand her something beautiful in a very small box.
Nearly an hour later, Chris had not come down so I headed up slightly disappointed. Upon entering our room I was struck by two things:
1. Chris was in bed—-SNORING HIS HEAD OFF.
2. It was pitch black.
I did not try to hide my annoyance as I slammed open the door and stomped loudly towards the bathroom. I was so busy stomping that I nearly tripped over the gigantic, beautifully wrapped box in the middle of the floor.
Laughter Moment #1
It occurred to me that Chris had stumbled to his closet, dragged the gift out, then grew weary and dropped it on the floor only to crawl back to bed and commence snoring.
When he finally appeared downstairs, I was about ready to leave. “Happy Birthday Love! Wow. You were 22 when I met you—YOU.ARE.OLD.” I shook my head. Chris decided that there was more to say at that moment so he followed up with “And, nothing makes you look older than that old lady sweater set you have on.–Have a great day!”
Laughter Moment #2
I had my typical long work day punctuated by amazing wishes from all of my employees–including a hand made and gorgeous strawberry shortcake (my favorite) at the hands of my nurse Claree.
I was so happy to get home to celebrate with Chris and the kids. I figured for sure we would go out, have a glass of the lovely wine Joan and Lalitha had given me and celebrate another year of awesome Momness.
Here is the dinner as it appeared before me (as God is my witness)
1. Italian Sausages on the grill (FYI, I HATE sausage.)
2. Store bought potato salad served in the plastic tub
3. Optional Tostitos–out of the bag.
The well-crafted (NOT) meal was served on paper plates alongside left over Fourth of July napkins. I would have cried if it weren’t for the gratitude parts that were intermingled here.
Gratitude Moment #1
The big box I nearly tripped over had the most beautiful black leather briefcase. It was exactly the kind I would have picked out for myself. As I opened it, Chris said–not sitting up from his pillow–”My writer can’t keep carrying around a cheapo briefcase from Target!”
Gratitude Moment #2
Just before I left and just after the “sweater set” comment, Chris came over to me to help me with my coat. He then pulled me close and kissed my cheek the way only someone who adores you could. It occurred to me that he kisses me on the cheek like that at least once a day.
Gratitude Moment #3
Yes, the dinner he had made was not the one I would have chosen. However he had made it. Better yet, as I pulled into the driveway, I was greeted by a little tiny face that took me completely by surprise. It was my niece Abi. My sister, my mom and my nieces had come down for the evening to celebrate. I had not seen those girls in four months!
Gratitude/Laughter Sum Up
My day was full of loving people and thoughtful gifts. But in the end, the moments I will not forget are the following:
1. Sammy choking to the point of puking because his little cousin Abi dropped a raisin down his throat while his other three cousins laid on top of him and Abi saying in horror “Wow. I didn’t know a raisin could do THAT.”
2. Chris calling me “his writer.” He knows I wear a lot of hats but that is the one that I am really trying to nourish these days. He gets it.
3. Chris kissing me on the cheek like I was his most precious gift.
4. Hadley presenting me with a Duck taped box containing a handcrafted Rainbow Loom Sandal (really). The best part was that it took her so long, she could only make one.
What a way to start my 43rd year.