Turning 43 wasn't so bad. In fact, my birthday this year was lovely. We are at Myrtle Beach. On the morning of the 26th, Paul agreed to take a walk on the beach with me. We talked about good stuff, holding hands, and I never once got the feeling he didn't want to be there. (Normally he doesn't enjoy walks because his stride is so much longer than mine and he's not a big talker.) This time I was the first to suggest we turn around and head back. Such a different scenario than last year when my hopes for birthday romance were dashed.
When we returned from our walk, I spread a blanket out on the beach and realized I had forgotten my Reader's Digest. He went all the way back to the condo for it, plus brought me bottled water and a towel. Then he went back for a workout while I soaked up the sun and listened to the surf while I read. The other kids were back at the condo, taking their good ole time getting up and around. Soon a family with a baby and a toddler sat near me under an umbrella. I must've been hormonal. After a few minutes of observing them and having flashbacks to when our children were that size, I had to blink away a few tears. They have no idea how fast time will pass, I thought, and thanked God that I had my whole family here and wondered if it would be the last family vacation.
Later that day, Renee' and I made appointments for a massage the next day. So I had something to look forward to.
That evening Paul took us to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville for dinner. Our family got the best table in the house, on the patio overlooking the lake at Broadway at the Beach. The menu looked so good I couldn't decide what I wanted. I settled on
Tilapia with Jerk BBQ sauce, gumbo, and salad, plus a Jolly Mon smoothie (strawberry/banana). The best part was having my whole family around me. I thoroughly enjoy their company. Again, very different from last year when tensions abounded and I was miserable. The Lord has healed my marriage in the past several months, and the results have had tremendous trickle-down effects on the kids.
On the way home from dinner, we stopped at Wal-Mart. We went separate ways and they somehow managed to buy stuff for me secretly. I knew they were getting cards; I could hear them cracking up in the next aisle over from where I was.
Back at the condo, I took a leisurely bath and folded some laundry. (There's a laundromat here. If you know me, you know I love laundromats, so washing clothes is a fun thing.)
When I opened the door to the dinette area, surprise! Pink roses in a vase on the table. And Joel handed me a stack of birthday cards. He made me open his first, of course. It features a spotted dog with bulging eyes and a humongous grin. It says "Dude" (crossed out by Joel), I am so excited it's your birthday..." and under it he wrote "I'm proud of you, I'm so plesed" and inside, "I could poop." Yeh, that's my boy. The older kids bought a sentimental one for me, with undeserved, kind words. Paul also gave me a beautiful card.
I'm hoping there's a card at home from my parents. They were in Kansas tending some rental houses, and I didn't get a call from them. That was the only raindrop on my birthday parade, but the rest of the day was (literally and figuratively) very sunny indeed.
Thanks to all of you who wished me a happy day via comments or email. It was so sweet of you.
Oh, and yesterday Renee and I got those professional massages. For me I chose 40 minutes for my back and neck, and 20 minutes for reflexology (foot massage). Man, did that feel goooooooooooooood!