6 Jun 2009

It's My Birthday!

Today, 6 June, is my double 21st birthday (Pause while you work that out). You'd think that after so many of them I'd have got over the excitement of having a special day. But no. Everyone in my family is the same. My mum never got over being excited by her birthday and she had 66 of them (she should have had more but that's another story.) My older sister rang me at 8.30am to sing 'Happy Birthday', as she always does, wherever she is in the world (she works on a cruise ship). She gets just as excited as I do.
I'm now sitting here, still in bed at 10am, house quiet, as my husband has gone off to drop off the kids at various places for the day before coming back so we can do something nice, just the two of us. But this morning, my favourite gift wasn't the ipod nano red or the clothes I wanted or the books I had put on my Amazon wishlist.
My favourite present was seeing that my children had learned that the act of giving can be a gift in itself. They were so excited that they had thought of the ipod themselves and ordered it with the engraving "We love you very, very much". No one complained that all the presents were for me with nothing for them (this is a first). My eldest was so excited that he woke up at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep and didn't even wake me up to tell me. They both gave me kisses and cuddles and made me feel surrounded by love, which is better than any present anyway.
Personally, even though I love my own birthday, I am always much more excited by those of other family members. I can't wait to see their faces when they see what I've got them, knowing it's just what they wanted. I find keeping their presents a secret excruciatingly difficult as I just can't wait for them to open them. It's part of what families are all about, sharing their joys and happy moments as well as supporting them through the tough ones.
Not being excited by things like this is the same, to me, as being fed up with living. In a way, the presents are incidental; it's the joy of knowing you are loved and of loving that is the true gift.