46. Forty-six. 40 and six. Forty & 6. However, I write it, there’s nothing special about turning forty-six. My birthday was last week. I didn’t feel a day older, and to be honest, I certainly didn’t feel younger for any particular reason, either. I just felt…well, forty-six.
My birthday fell on both an American and a Canadian holiday this year: Columbus Day
(U.S.) and Thanksgiving (Canada). When we lived in Canada, we’d have turkey dinner every seven years to celebrate my birth, or so I liked to think. A small group of friends threw a little party for me at a local coffee shop last week. Very apropos, by the way, I received sweet birthday wishes in the form of cards, small gifts, and a very yummy spinach quiche. My mouth is watering as I’m recalling that moment of relishing the first bite. This was the most fun I’ve had in years for my birthday! Phone calls, text messages, and FB well-wishes tumbled into each hour of my special day. Both moms, mine and my hubby’s, serenaded their own versions of Happy Birthday (one of which was terrible, by the way. I do believe that was the intent, though) from different states.
Now that we live in the states, there was no turkey dinner. BUT since it’s a holiday, both boys enjoyed celebrating my special day at home. Judah played in the hose water –as usual, and Noah sat on the couch perfecting his movie-making capabilities on his tablet –as usual. I thought about making a cake, but why? I’m gluten free, and no one else would eat it. Hmmm…perhaps, that’s not such a bad idea. More for me, right?
Just then, Judah walks in dripping wet. Strips his wet clothes and finds something dry. As I watch him, he proceeds to dig through four of my cookbooks until he finds just the right recipe. Recipe books open and scattered, he finally finds the one he wants and brings it to me, pointing to the recipe of choice. I wonder what he’s picked this time. Then he takes off giggling. How can I resist his excitement over something so simple?
“Okay, Judah. Heart shaped cut-out sugar cookies with red sugar sprinkles it is!”
Just as I pull the last batch out of the oven, Noah walks over to examine my homemade creations. A look of disappointment washes over his face. Why bother asking? I know what he’s thinking.
“Those are cookies, Noah. Would you like one?” I already know his answer. He likes only two kinds of cookies: Oreos and
“Chocolate chip cookies, please?”
“Would you like me to make some chocolate chip cookies for you, Noah?”
Okay. Why not?
Later, as I’m folding laundry in my bedroom, Noah walks in. Without looking up, “Yes, Noah, you can have another cookie.” He’s already had six, but, hey, it’s my birthday, so let’s celebrate! Anyway, I can’t eat them, so they can have my share.
I turn around to give Noah a hug and see him just standing there, as if trying to think what he wanted to say. Before I can ask him if he’s okay or what he wants, he finds his words and blurts out,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!
Then he promptly turns around and goes back to his movie-making and, now, eight cookies.
My heart beats fast with excitement as though I just learned we’re going to Disney World, but my body is stuck like a statue. My brain can’t choose which side to take. He’s never said anything like that before. NEVER! No prompts. No reminders. Nothing!
Finally, my brain sides with my heart and tells my body to move. I throw the half-folded garment on my bed, run to the living room, and hug Noah for as long as he’ll let me.
“Thank you, Noah. That was the best birthday present EVER!”