I'm 36!

I have written about this before, but I still champion this idea so I'm going to write about it again. A few years ago I took Rory off the hook for my birthday. I have high expectations for my birthday and was always hoping that maybe he could magically read my mind when March 18th came around. As it turns out, he could not read my mind. But I could! So I started planning my own special day from start to finish.

I recommend this SO MUCH. Because I know I'm not alone in this. I know too many stories of the big day ending in disappointment and tears. But I really believe your birthday is your responsibility when you become an adult. It just is. So whether I am turning 36 or 66 or 96, I will continue to plan my day. It's not my husband's job, not my children's, not my friend's. It's mine. And you know what? All my expectations are met when I plan the day.
So Saturday was my big day, and I was ready for it. Friday night I cleaned the kitchen and hung my own pennants. I set the table for a fun brunch party with my family, bought my own coffee cake and woke up early to meet a bunch of girlfriends for a birthday breakfast. I invited every one of them and told them not to bring a gift or a card, but to just pay for their own pancakes. I love beginning the day with friends. It's good to feel loved by girlfriends at the start of the day!

When I got home the kids were ecstatic to give me their cards and to have coffee cake (which, I can't actually eat because of my no-grain eating plan...but I bought the cake mostly for them because it is very important to have your kid's buy in for your big day!)

But in a crazy surprise Rory had spent the morning making me a very complicated Paleo Chocolate Pie! Now here is an added bonus to letting your husband off of the birthday hook: anything he does is genuinely appreciated because it is bonus! And not done out of birthday obligation. I was so surprised and impressed. We had this chocolate pie a few weeks ago with friends and I loved every crumb. It is coconut cream, dates and melted chocolate (and other things) on a walnut crust. I told Rory that I would have been really intimidated to attempt that recipe and he said, "oh, I was."
I spent the afternoon making special foods for a Seder meal we had the next day (that I'll write about tomorrow.) And that was a great task too: to try a whole bunch of new recipes. I really enjoyed playing in the kitchen all afternoon. At 3:00 we dropped the kids off at my friend Allyson's house and she watched them for four hours. I'll return the favor on her birthday in two weeks. Genius! And we lined it up, because we are adults!

Rory and I went to a coffee shop and talked for a few hours and then out to dinner. And it was so great. I told him on the drive to pick up the kids, "I love time with you. I love when we get to finish a conversation." And it's so true. Our communication can be so fragmented and interrupted with so many vying for our attention. The joy of our date night was really getting to talk.

We picked the kids up, put them to bed and then watched a documentary on Sugar while eating the incredible chocolate pie. Perfect. 


Nancy Holte said...

You're a genius! Happy belated birthday!

Paige Lathrop said...

Ever since I first read of you planning your own birthday, I've been doing the same. It is truly genius!! Like you, I've never had a disappointing birthday since, and my family seems to appreciate my self-planned party day, as well. So thank you so much for finally solving this problem for me. I'm happy to hear your day was perfect yet again this year, and extra bonus points to Rory for the homemade gluten-free cake! There's a man who loves his bride! :) Happy belated birthday, Becca! Love you!!!