A Big Thank You and My August 14 Happy Birthday

Wow, talk about ask and you shall receive! Thanks everyone for your comments and emails regarding my questions about pregnancy weight. You’ve been most helpful in my understanding of the “real story.” I can read professional journals all day, research endlessly, but in the end it’s your views and experiences that matter most.

When I say “thanks,” here’s what I mean. To my blogging friends, our Mutual Admiration Society sustains and nurtures me. Thank you for allowing me to invade your blogs with my comments and for gifting me with yours. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you in this way.

To new commenters, I was most humbled by your comments and emails. I didn’t realize I had long-time readers like you who chose to come out from behind your screens and say hello and offer your thoughts. I’m so glad to know you’re out there.

I’ve decided to postpone my second subject questions only because I’m not ready to work on that part of the book yet. (You didn’t know you were writing a book with me, did you? I’ll need a separate book just for acknowledgements! LOL)

So in this blog, I’ve decided to wish myself a happy 46th birthday (which is tomorrow, August, 14, but I’ll be out of town before I can post this) rather than shove it under the rug, which is what I was planning to do. (Like I do most every year. More on that later.) I’m too busy to have a birthday right now. (I’m noticing a pattern as I read my birthday blogs from the past.)

46? Not that exciting. But it makes my husband and kids happy to buy me lunch and flowers and spiffy cool Sleep Headphones. I haven’t tried them yet because I don’t have them yet, but Grammar Girl loves them and so I’m sure I will, too.

It’s impossible to lay on my side and listen to my iPod with my ear buds (I’m not a back sleeper), but I really like to fall asleep to White Noise Meditation “music.” It’s soothing, like a blankie, and a natural sleep aid. The Middle, Low and High Theta Relaxation Sessions (which are basically sounds of thunder and rain with an accompanying flute or lute playing softly in the background) calmed me every night I was in Chicago before taping “Oprah,” the night before I was on the “Today Show” and all those times since when I’ve been too stressed to sleep and too tired not to sleep.

Anyway, back to my birthday. Larry and I are going to Pittsburgh and will have lunch at Panera with my friend Chris and daughter Cassie and of course g-babies Claire and Luca. I’ll have one of Panera’s bigass salads (dressing on the side, of course) and a hunk of whole grain baguette. Screw birthday cake (although I may indulge in some lime Jell-O this evening). Stick a candle in that bread and I’ll make a wish. I love their bread. Love it. Did I mention I love it? Because I do. Love it, that is.

I keep forgetting that I turned 6 years old when Woodstock was going on (happy 40th anniversary!!). 400,000 people attended, none of whom were my parents. I grew up in a non-Woodstock kind of family, although my brother – 10 years older than me to the day (Happy birthday, Marty, although I know you don’t read my blog, but just in case…) – had all the Beatles albums and my sister was a fan of the 5th Dimension, so I was introduced to the good stuff early on.

Of all the things I’ve written about my birthday over the years, I decided to republish my 2007 birthday ZenBagLady blog. I’m fond of it. So I leave you with birthday memories from 44, called
Happy Birthday To Me!

I’m 44 years old today, a number divisible by 1, 2, 4, 11, 22 and 44. Not prime, but a good number anyway.

I wasn’t going to celebrate this year. Too much going on. Like last year with my daughter’s wedding, my birthday this year is buttressed between two larger events – my husband’s surprise party a few weeks ago and the Minnesota family reunion in a few weeks. I’ve been in planning mode for months, no time to think about my birthday. I thought I’d want to let it slide, let it be just another day. But that little kid in me woke up this morning and said, “It’s your birthday! Yay!” Same feeling I had when I was 5 and 8 and 12 and 20 and last year. I can’t suppress that birthday-happy inner child.

So bring on my birthday.

I’m starting off with a cup of my husband’s coffee. No one makes coffee like he does. Not Michelle’s, not Starbucks, and certainly not me. Then later, my youngest daughter will be here to take me out to lunch, and she’ll bring with her my family present: a new papasan chair (click here to see what it looks like) and ottoman, perfect for the Zen room.

It’s always seemed funny to me that I was born on a date I consider so serene. I love prime numbers – harsh, lonely prime numbers. But my birth-date is hardly harsh. Here’s how I figure it: The word “August” is a lovely word, starts with a vowel. I like words that begin with a vowel. The number 14 – it’s even, looks pretty, and is divisible by my fourth favorite number, 7. The year I was born, 1963, is not a prime number, but it is divisible by my third favorite number, 13. (For the record, my favorite number is 23, followed by 19.)

It’s also always seemed funny to me that I was born in the summer, my least favorite season, two weeks before the March on Washington and a few months before Kennedy was assassinated. I’ve never felt like a Leo. I always thought I’d make a better Libra. Being a summer baby, I was almost the youngest in my class and I never got to bring treats to share in class like the other kids with school-year birthdays. In fact, my birthday meant school would start in a few weeks. No wonder my mother loved celebrating my birthday.

Kidding aside, Mom always made each of us kids’ birthdays special. We got to pick what we wanted for dinner and dessert and she’d make it, no questions asked. I always wanted tater tot hotdish and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Tonight, I won’t be eating tater tot hotdish, although that does sound very good (potatoes, cream of something soup – how can you beat a combo like that?). I’ll probably just have some fish, but I know there’s a bottle of champagne in the back of the fridge leftover from my husband’s big birthday blowout. I think I’ll dig that out.

So happy birthday to me! Let the inner kid run amok!

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