The day passed with a nod and a smile, devoid of all of the hubbub generally associated with birthdays. All of our friends are out of town for the Easter holidays, and Patrick and I enjoyed the quiet day, sipping a rare coke from recycled glass bottles (so much tastier this way - why do we stand for all of this PLASTIC? Plastic toys for children, plastic food containers, etc. Have you watched this video yet? If not, then consider it my birthday wish!)
The dearest birthday gift I received this year came from my Mom, in the form of a short email, describing our first meeting. I must preface this with a bit of a birth story - I was born by emergency C-section after three days of labor, in an age where medical technology hadn't caught up with the most pressing needs of mother and child to connect right after birth. My mother was under complete anesthesia, and I was born at 7:28 P.M. I'm sure it was even a while before I was put in my father's arms, as they washed, bundled, and did whatever else they deemed "necessary" for a newborn before handing her off to bond with family. Nonetheless, my Mom's description was lovely:
I have a memory of our first eye to eye contact that I cherish. Bundled tightly in a soft blanket you were placed in my arms at about 4:00 in the morning. Your eyes were wide open and you seemed to be ready for conversation. I brought you close to my face and told you how happy I was to finally see you and hoped I would be a good mother to you. Your little mouth puckered an "o" and your eyes seemed to open even wider. I was dumbstruck by the realization that we had been "talking" for many months and that while you grew and rested under my heart - loved sight unseen - nothing had prepared me for the outpouring of love that funny little face evoked!
I'm touched beyond the scope of words that my Mom offered me such a thoughtful, immaterial gift this year. Patrick and I have a bit of a tradition of "gifting" in non-traditional ways ... by turning commercial holidays on their heads and using the occasion, instead, to find little extra ways that we can express our love for each other. For example, yesterday I was the recipient of breakfast in bed and a heavenly shoulder rub. In the past, we have written out "coupons" on index cards, which could be "redeemed" at any time. Here are a few examples from a batch that Patrick gave me on our first anniversary, right before we moved to Mexico. (And yes, Amelie is actually an anniversary gift!)