Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my birthday. It's not something I usually announce because, well, the older I get the more I tend to feel a bit disgruntled about the date appearing so quickly again. But, over the past few years I have learned to really love my birthday. Not because of my increasing age and gray hairs, of course, but because I realize all over again every year how blessed my life is for the many people who are in it. From phone calls to Facebook messages, to texts and e-mails, I can't help but feel loved. And who doesn't love that feeling??!!

This year was no exception. I was showered with birthday wishes from a bundle of different sources, each making me appreciate how good my life is. My favorites, however, came from my very own home. Here are a few of the notes I received from my children.

My 12-year-old daughter (original punctuation--apparently, she loves exclamation points):

"Happy Birthday!! I love you! I hope you like my present! I drew it last night! (She had drawn a beautiful picture of a mother holding a baby's tiny hand--only wish it was bigger so I could frame it--it's really good). I thought it would be perfect since you are always there to hold my hand! Did you know that if I was a person walking in the mall just looking around and I looked at you I would think you were 31?! (I was hoping for 20 something, but I'll take it--I just turned 37, btw). I know you think you are a 98 year old big, fat lady, but NO! (Have I ever mentioned how much I love children's honesty and bluntness? It's priceless). Well, love you!"

Okay, seriously, who could read that note without smiling? It still makes me chuckle. And I have to add that I am totally grateful to know I don't look like a 98-year-old big, fat lady! lol.

Here's one from my seven-year-old daughter (original spelling, of course):

"I was gowing to give you a new phone but it was too much money so I am gowing to give you a card instead."

So simple, yet so smile-provoking. I mean, a card is the next best thing if you can't get a phone, right?

Lastly, from my husband. I have to explain the gift so it doesn't sound too quirky. I have had back problems our whole married life, and as time goes on, my back simply gets worse, of course. I have degenerative discs, plus other problems, so my back hurts pretty much all the time. By the end of each day, I am exhausted from the constant discomfort, and the muscles in my back are usually in huge knots from working to compensate for the weakness in my lower back. Anyway, my husband over the years has perfected rubbing the knots out of my back. He puts his elbows into just the right spots and rubs, working out the knots. It's my favorite thing ever as it releases some of the tension in my back and feels so good. Okay, now to the gift and the note.

I woke up yesterday morning and stumbled to the living room to turn the fireplace on (it's a little cold in the basement in the mornings still) and gasped as I nearly ran into a huge table in the middle of the living room. When I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, I noticed it was a massage table!
Me, trying out the massage table--looks pretty official, don't you think?

Wow! What a birthday present--definitely not something I was expecting (I mean, who gives their wife a massage table for her birthday?). Attached to the table was a note that read:

"Happy Birthday. I love you. Lifetimes massages for free."

So simple but so profoundly thoughtful. At first I felt like laughing at the uniqueness of the gift, but then I felt like crying at my husband's selfless, thoughtful gift to me. It  truly was a gift of constant service. I'm sure he would rather not spend his evenings with his elbow in my back while I moan, but he is the kind of man who doesn't think about what he wants or what conveniences him; he thinks constantly about what makes others happy.

Oh, how blessed I am!

So I gave each of my children 5-minute massages after Sunday lunch. We closed the blinds, turned off the lights, put in a relaxing CD of piano music, lit a candle, and wa la! A makeshift spa--right in our living room! Of course most spas don't allow constant giggling and talking during the experience, but this happens to be a family spa, so it's okay.
Giving my 7-yr-old a massage. No, my hair doesn't really look like that--I think it's the effect of the plant behind me!

I know most families don't own massage tables, and I'm certainly not suggesting they get one, but I just have to say that for me, it was a perfect gift! More evidence that my life is extremely blessed.

And one more perk? The table folds up to the size of a suitcase. Whew! I had no idea where we were going to store it!


Julia said...

Can I book an appointment please! I hope there is an open slot around Christmas time. :-)