Birthdays, “in the day,” were the best, right? Singing, cupcakes (we put prizes in my cupcakes growing up… I’m sure a lawsuit waiting to happen these days), theme parties, streamers, goody bags, god I could go on!
Well, today is Mark’s big day. Sadly, I fear it won’t be quite so “big” aside from the number (we’re the same age). Nothing has made me feel more like an adult than looking back on the birthdays Mark and I have celebrated together and how they’ve changed (read: gotten lamer).
In the good ol’ days, we’d joke that Mark’s birthday would last the entire week. Often the summer vacation (ha… remember those?!) would land on or around his day. Our first birthday spent together was on Nantucket and involved a late-night piano bar, later night birthday cookies, and a raucous dinner out.
Then there was the baseball birthday party. I was able to put together some goodie bags for this one and lots of themed decorations.
More recently, the ‘parties’ have involved a barbecue and a few close friends. So far, I’ve been able to at least motivate to get a home-made cake on the table!
If you’re reading this, Mark… spoiler alert. Today’s celebration will be lame. I haven’t gotten around to even getting a card although I’m pretty sure I have one in my misc. card box that I just unpacked, so that’s good news. You do have some presents (I’m not that pathetic yet), but there will be no decorations. No goodie bags. The only theme is whatever has been left on your dad’s coffee table, because that’s where we’re going tonight. (And I lied before… no homemade cake tonight.)
However, and this is a pretty important “however”… I’m not sure the celebration of the actual day matters in quite the same way as it once did. There are countless reasons why your party tonight will be different from the first birthday we spent together 7 years ago.
I didn’t buy you a card because you will be getting some artwork from two of your amazing kids. No homemade cake because your youngest child was giggling too much for her mom to put her down and go bake. No decorations because we spent our weekend laughing with friends. No theme because we have a beautiful new home that needs no streamers or banners or balloons to make festive.
Some day we can get back to the Week of Mark, but for now your birthday presents might not be the kind that you can unwrap (mostly because Oliver wouldn’t sit still in the cardboard box).
You’ve always had a fan-club, but on this special special day, know that you have three incredible children, one loving and adoring wife, and a hyper dog practicing the Happy Birthday song back home. And let me tell you, Eleanor can sing the crap out of that song!