I turn 37 tomorrow, and I’m neither dreading it nor looking forward to it. As I said before, I’ve felt old for years, so having actual confirmation that I am now getting old doesn’t really faze me.
But I do strongly believe in claiming birthday privileges, particularly when one’s birthday falls on a Saturday and thus can be legitimately claimed as part of a whole “birthday weekend” scenario.
If I got to plan the perfect day, it would involve being left alone to sleep until at least 10 and then greeted with an iced mocha that doesn’t have too much chocolate syrup all clumped up at the bottom. Then we’d go to brunch as a family at someplace that doesn’t require us to wait for more than 10 minutes for a table and serves breakfast burritos and good coffee and my children would wait patiently for their food, not whine to use SnapChat on my phone, and then actually eat what they ordered without complaining.
After that, we might take a walk – or I might watch 16 episodes of "Law & Order: SVU" without having to pause it every 10 seconds because a child has come upstairs and I don’t want them overhearing bits of dialogue like, “What is a nun doing at a sex party?” (Season 17).
Somewhere in there, I’d go to the library to stock up on terrible novels, and then I’d take a long bath while reading same.
As far as dinner, I’m just as happy staying in as going out, but I want pasta, wine, and cake to be on the menu in some capacity.
Then my kids go to sleep on their own without my having to read that stupid La La Loopsy book again.
I don’t care about presents: All I want are coffee, alone time, carbs, and sleep.
In reality, my day will begin with my children trying very hard not to wake me up – so hard, in fact, that they will get into a whisper-fight 2 inches from my face over which one is being louder. Once they see I’m awake, they will fight over who gets to make me coffee. They will attempt to bring me coffee and spill most of it up the stairs and in the bed.
We probably won’t go out to brunch at all because we’ve learned our lesson, but if we do, the children will claim they are starving, bicker non-stop, and order $80 worth of food they’ll take four collective bites of.
The rest of the day will be spent with the children lying on top of me because they know I need birthday snuggles. Georgia might attempt to do my hair. Ruby might give me a moderately painful but well-meaning back rub.
I’ll take a bath, but somehow both children will end up in the bath with me, even though they claim they’re just going to put their feet in.
Dinner will be delicious, the kids will be happier about the cake than I am but will sing beautifully to me, and I’ll probably have one-too-many glasses of wine and wake up with a headache because I’m a lightweight. The kids will make me a hand-drawn card that will undoubtedly make me cry, even if I’m not tipsy.
And I will almost certainly end up reading that stupid La La Loopsy book at least once.
But even though I know it’s not going to be 100 percent exactly what I want, I know there is no other way I’d truly rather spend my birthday.