Every year I watch the clock roll from 11:59 pm to 12:00 am, and I announce, “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” This year was the same, except it was whispered.
When the clock read a more respectable time, I laid in bed and spent over an hour trying to talk myself out of it. I have to talk myself out of bed every day. Some days I succeed. Other days I don’t. I didn’t want to get out of bed on the 27th, but I knew I had to.
I did girlie things. Got a pedicure. Had my eyebrows done. The aesthetician asked me if I was married. I said yes. She asked me if I had any children. I said no. When I left I burst into tears, feeling like I’d betrayed Madeline.
There was a small dinner that night at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. There was too much food and sweet cake. I blew out the candles. I didn’t make a wish.
I went home and opened presents. Amazing, thoughtful presents that made me cry. I have wonderful people in my life, some I’ve never even met.
Later I stood at her urn, and I told her it was my birthday. I showed her some of the pretty things I’d been given, the things I knew she’d have been drawn to. I told her I was sorry I said I had no children. I promised I wouldn’t ever say that again.
Every year I watch the clock roll from 11:59 pm to 12:00 am, and I announce, “my birthday’s over. Boo.” But this year, I was relieved.