December 23, 2010

one last (birthday) song

He listened to me whine and complain... for almost two weeks. No one even has time for my birthday, which was why I eventually decided to celebrate it on my own terms. In all my 39 years, this was maybe the first time I ever felt that way... and while I don't usually make a practice of dwelling in the ugly, the hurt and the sadness was just a little too much for this heart. This heart that love, love, loves my December birthday, and has most always embraced it. I wanted to embrace it this year, too... so I narrowed my expectations (which were small to start with... a few hours of family, mixed with cake and ice cream) and created strict terms that I expected him to follow... to the letter. Only this one night, just us four, cookie dough flautas, no cake... and no singing or celebrating it any other time. It sounds ridiculous now... but it was my coping mechanism, the only way I could push aside the sad and lonely feelings over what he wouldn't give up for my day. How old am I? Three? I deserved that kick-in-the-pants cards from my Mom... and I knew it, but still couldn't reign my heart in.

The day after my birthday, we had plans with friends... easy dinner, just to visit and relax before the Christmas crazy set fully in. When we had originally made the plans I told Eric, but it won't be a birthday celebration, okay? and he just shook his head, fully sick of my birthday attitude. But this night was at least a week after that conversation, and I had just celebrated a wonderful birthday, had tucked all that junk away into my muddy heart...

It was too dark to tell who was in the driveway, probably just someone stopping by their house to drop of a quick gift or something... but as we pulled in I noticed there was more than an extra car. And there were quite a few people standing around. And they were waving. I put my hand up to wave and the realization hit me all at once. My family. All of them. A surprise for me, the very loud birthday whiner. I was more than shocked, more than pleased, more than humbled. He was worried that I wouldn't even get out of the car.

No worries... he is the very best husband a girl could be lucky enough to call her own. And he loves me completely, even when I make his life miserable, even in spite of me. And still, after the celebration, I can't quite get over how selfish and awful I have been... but he offered me grace anyway, and I joyfully splashed in it. I have closed the door on this birthday... and next year, when my beautiful birthday comes around, I will accept it just as it is... because I believe I have learned my lesson.


Michelle DeRusha said...

Oh Dawn, I can so relate to this. We all have our self-absorbed moments. Our resentful, blaming moments. You are too hard on yourself! Besides, I am the biggest birthday queen there is -- I fully expect (demand) a week of celebration. My husband once asked, "Why is it that you get a week of birthday and I get two hours?" Oops.

Joy and peace to you this Christmas. I am overjoyed to call you my friend!

Oh...and Happy Birthday! ;)

Busy Bee Suz said...

I just can't believe you would only want to celebrate ONE day.....when you can drag it out for a long time.
We are going to have to talk about this. ;)
Glad your WHOLE family could celebrate with you. You are someone to be celebrated.

Heathahlee said...

I think maybe your husband and mine have been collaborating. That sounds exactly like something he'd plan, AND it sounds exactly like something I'd get mired in beforehand. Aren't we so silly? I'm so glad you had a great big birthday. : )

Pam said...

And the perfect cake too! Love it!

Richella Parham said...

Oh, you. . . you're so hard on yourself. (Takes one to know one.)

OF COURSE he offered you grace--not just because he's an awesome husband (which he obviously is) but because he's blessed enough to be married to YOU. One of the grace girls. Remember?

Love you!

Richella Parham said...

By the way. . .

No complaining about being still in your 30's.

Just sayin'.

Jennifer Juniper said...

Awww, happy birthday :) We're almost the same age! I turn 39 in May...yikes :(

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