Yesterday, when I woke up my husband said, Happy Anniversary. I had forgotten. But, yes, 9 years ago we were married in a church in Harlem next to the Alexander Hamilton House. This morning when I woke up he asked me, What do you want for your birt'day? (Oh, just a husband with an adorable brogue.) No, that's not what I said. I said that I want to be surprised. Well, that did not go over so well. Groan, mumble, argh.
Every year I wind up feeling a little out out that people find it so hard to just buy or even make me something I will love that will surprise me. I have so many varied interests and a wacky but identifiable sense of style. How hard could it be? I take pride in being a good gift giver. When I see something I know someone will love, I buy it. These last couple of years that has not proven to be the best strategy since I forget that I bought them something or where I put it.
My birthday always seems to bring out this little, if I can do it, why can't they? sentiment. So, this morning, when he said, "Fine, I'll just get you jewelry," my internal pout signal went off. Then I brightened and asked if it would be a new engagement ring. (Yes, amongst the many TBI related things I lost this year -my mind, my job, my sense of self, 14 pounds - I also lost my engagement ring.) He is sure it will turn up. He kissed me goodbye and told me he loved me and left for work.
As I sat on the couch reading my blogs, the little loop started to play in my head. Why doesn't anyone put as much effort into... AND THEN... I stopped.
I suddenly realized that the best thing I could give the people I love was understanding and appreciation. They would probably prefer that to any of the "thoughtful" presents I come up with. I may be a good gift giver but there is plenty that I am not so good at and even more that I actually kind of suck at. But, I have people who love me anyway. The best present I can give my family and myself this year is acceptance. They love me, TBI and all. They have given me patience, support, forgiveness, and second chances. I think they just want me to be happy.
So here is my birthday wish list. I want more years together so that I can be here for you as much as you have been here for me. Next Tuesday I start the 50th year of my life. I have the best husband, best daughter, best adorable boyfriend of my daughter, and best mommy in the world. Could there really be anything better than that? No! That is pretty great. Maybe, something tasty from the Cupcake Cafe would nice... but that would just be icing on the cake.
23 hours ago