A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Thursday, July 19, 2007

And many more.....

Yesterday was my birthday. Last year was the big 60, so this year was a bit more low key. My son made me a cake last Saturday during Vika's birthday party. He borrowed the "6" candle from Vika's cake, and added a green crayola candle for the "1". Cute kid.....

Birthdays come and go, but some stick with you.

When I was six, my mom told the other mothers that I needed underwear, so I received mostly underpants and socks for gifts. It's hard at the age of 6 to fake enthusiasm over a sucky gift. I remember NOT being very happy! And, as I got older, I swore that when I had kids some day they would never get underwear for a present unless they personally asked for it.

My birthday is in the summer so the parties were mostly family events. Which was fine - except for all those old lady wet kisses on the cheek. And Italian woman love to pinch your cheek so that was a fun time.

When I turned 21, I felt like I finally was an adult and could move out of my parents house. They had no intention of letting me leave before that. But now I could split. Be on my own. Be independent. My parents agreed. And they helped me and a friend rent a little cottage near the University. Of course, it was on my grandparents property, 10 feet from their house, and I would always see my grandmother picking out of the curtains checking on us. But it was my own place - I could cook what I wanted for dinner, not make my bed, play music whenever I wanted to, and always get a free meal next door!

At 30 we were living in Denver. The kids were almost 3, I had my first case of sinusitis (thought I had a brain tumor), was very lonely and very sad. It seemed like it should be a big deal to be 30, but I got the routine cards and gifts. No family around except my husband and kids. Nothing special. I was depressed for a week, then figured that wouldn't get me anywhere so I snapped out of it.

At 40 my second husband proposed to me and followed that with a surprise birthday party. Such a great start to such a lousy relationship. But at least the birthday was nice. We now refer to him as "he who shall not be named".

50 - ah 50. The bad part was that my brother and his wife and new baby were leaving California about 4 weeks after my birthday and that was VERY sad for me. Plus, everyone was so busy with their lives that I had to plan my party, buy the food, cook the food, yada yada. I finally asked the kids to at least buy or make me a cake! Which they did.

But 50 was interesting. I was no longer married to he-who-shall-not-be-named. I had a good job. My kids were grown and turned out to be awesome adults. And I had my future ahead of me. I remember telling people that turning 50 felt like being given a huge flip chart and a box of 128 crayons (including burnt siena and raw umber) and I could draw any future I wanted. And I did. That definitely turned out to be a wonderful decade. Bought a new car, moved to the other side of the bay, lived alone for the first time in my life, dated some, met Ed, and got married.

Last year I turned 60 - Ed and the kids had a terrific surprise birthday party for me with so many of my friends and family. Such a special day. Now I can have quiet birthdays for the next 8 years and then look forward to a big blowout for 70!


Desert Diva said...

I hope you had a relaxing and wonderful birthday!

Maybe you can help me "renew" my faith in men...

Wendy said...

Happy Birthday! Hope it was wonderful!

Sandi said...

DD - it took me three tries to get the husband thing right! Don't give up1

Jenni said...

Joe's cake was awesome! All lumpy and lopsided. :) It sure tasted good though!

Glad you had a nice birthday!