Well, I tried. I did try to boycott my birthday. Last week brought out those rough deployment emotions that let me know sometimes I am not as strong as I try to be. The thought of my pending birthday was dragging me down and I couldn’t explain why.
I like mediocre birthdays. I don’t need a huge party, a big hurrah, I think after my 21st I realized that they were all downhill after that and I like the basics. A thoughtful gift from my husband, dinner with family and acknowledgement that my bestest friends remember the day of my birth…only the bestest I expect to remember. Oh yeah, and my $25 birthday check from work. That is enough for me.
So last week when my wonderful mom asked me what I wanted and where we should go eat I couldn’t pinpoint why I was trying so hard to ignore my birthday. And then I figured it out. When it was pointed out to me it just reinforced that Rob wasn’t here…AGAIN.
Now you probably don’t know this but Rob and I have been dating/engaged/married NINE years this year. In those 9 years Rob has only been at ONE of my birthdays. He feels terrible about it I assure you. It is and has become a long standing joke that he will continue to miss them. In fact, when we were still young uns (okay youngERuns) and first dating he left for AIT on my birthday. And ever since then it has been an omen that he shall miss my birthday ALMOST ALWAYS due to military obligations.
But that wasn’t entirely it, it was harder this year for some reason. Like I said he has missed 8 birthdays already and I usually don’t get too upset about it, rather I use it to get him to do things for me like give back massages and take me to my favorite places to eat. And still I don’t know why this year sucked worse. But just like deployment, the time leading up to it was worse than the actual day. The past few days I have tried to understand my melancholy mood about today but today I am fine, I am good. Life is moving, it was a crazy morning, it is raining cats and dogs and my monkey Max was awake from 3AM-4AM last night but I am fine.
I already got a call from Rob, him singing me Happy Birthday (slightly off tune but who am I to talk?) and the calls from my awesome family and bestest friend so I am happy. I held Max close this morning and played with him, enjoying him after he spent a lot of time away from me this weekend and I was happy.
I got to work 30 minutes late and my awesome boss bought me a gift. I always joke that we are BFF now because we share a workspace and the post it read “To my new best friend”, a pretty white bird statue titled Birds of a Feather…I realized how lucky I am to not be working for a psycho anymore (old boss was CaRAZY!) and thanked him profusely.
So today I celebrate my 25th, I call it halfway to 30 although technically that would make me 15 (it makes sense in my head ok?) I stop to say thank you for everything that I have in my life. And I celebrate not only my birthday but those moments along the way. So here are some moments that I am celebrating today
With Rob-The first time we met -Still remember the flirtatious grinning going on that evening, Surviving our first separation-we were apart about 8 weeks that time and it felt like a lifetime to us lovebirds, The night we got engaged-I love that it was chilly that November 19th, Afghanistan Homecoming-How I loved that day, Our wedding day and night-so many things to think back at and just laugh, Telling Rob I was pregnant, and then telling our families, Seeing Rob at Christmas this year and being so mad at him…he knows why, and realizing in that moment that even when he angered me I was still in love with him always, Surviving our 2nd deployment and being so proud that we always come out on top and stronger than before
Holding Max for the very first time, in the middle of the night, seeing that he was completely perfect and finally here, Celebrating each of Max’s milestones, watching him smile, giggle and splash in a bath, teaching him how to clap, seeing his smile, making him feel better, holding him through a nap when he is sick, and kissing his sweet face and nose, holding him close, turning his monitor all the way up to hear him breathe and checking on him to give him back his lovey and cover him again with his blanket.
From the weekend, watching a friend take her wedding vows and remembering my own, conquering a task like only I can, visiting with the women who surrounded me during our Afghanistan deployment, my friends, my sisters and laughing with them over the silliest moments, watching people enjoy a wedding, seeing family, helping someone, recognizing that someone who used to a “friend” is now one of the greatest and best FRIENDS that I have ( I love you Summer-best wedding date ever), meeting a fellow deployed soldier home on R&R, now married to a friend and commiserating on the craziness of this situation like only another Army family could and seeing the tenderness in their hands touching (cant wait for that sushi dinner McKamies!) and seeing Max’s face light up when I held him again.
Being an Army Wife, for all of the crap, all of the hard times and the general suckiness I am so incredibly proud to be a part of this elite group of women who manage every day, through night and day, alone, apart and taking care of it all. Seeing a girl become a women as she loves a soldier. I consider us some of the strongest people out there and I am proud of all of us Dangit!
That is what I choose to celebrate this birthday. And just for Rob, I love you times three!