I'm not going to write a birthday post just because it's my birthday. That would be stupid and predictable, not to mention... pretentious. (BARF.)
Anyway, I don't feel like writing a birthday post. I don't even feel like today is a special day. No magic sparkly dust fluttered down from the sky and landed on me, imbuing me with wisdom and a couple of extra crow’s feet (stay out of the sun, girls). I don’t feel older. I don’t even feel old. I feel great, actually, aside from my cranky knees, for which I now see an orthopedic specialist and hence have, for the first time in years, a verifiable glimmer of hope that I will one day be able to run without pain.
But I didn’t feel like making a big deal out of my birthday this year, and I didn’t even remember it was coming, so it would be silly to write a post about it. I only realized my birthday was coming because my friend Lindsay’s birthday popped up on Facebook two days ago, which always serves to remind me that I have two more days until mine. I was like, “Oh… huh. I forgot my birthday was coming. Oh well.” *SHRUG*
When the Hubs asked what I wanted for my birthday a few weeks ago I shrugged and said “Nothin’,” and made that face where you lift just one side of your lip up, like “Mehhh, who cares?”
And I know what I’m getting into when I say that; the Hubs is not the kind of dude who will surprise me with a dozen roses, plan a huge party behind my back, or get me a Coach purse on the sly. If I say I want ‘nothin,’ ‘nothin’ is what I’m gonna get. And that really is okay with me.
Last night, my birthday eve, it finally hit me that I did actually want something. What I wanted? - To sleep in. No alarm clocks, no breakfast in bed, no butts needing to be wiped or mouths needing to be fed.
Remember what it was like when you were a kid and you could just wake up any old time? When you woke up because you were just to damn rested to sleep anymore? When you sometimes slept so late you started to get a back-ache from lying flat for so long? I wanted to have that feeling again… just once. Oh and also… to eat bacon – lots and lots of bacon. So I told the hubs my wish. He said okay.
This morning, I was awoken at 7:15 by little peanut, who needed to pee, and is not yet tall enough to board the throne independently. Nor wipe. So I helped her with her business and went right back to bed, knowing she would go wake up her brother and they would entertain each other for a while, at which point I could kick the Hubs out of bed and he could attend to their needs while I lived out my dream of sleeping in. Several times the kids stomped into our room with some racket or another, until finally the Hubs got up and I thought, “yesss… this is IT. My MOMENT…”
…I, and two other people, I don’t remember who, were traveling through narrow tunnels deep underground, either searching for or escaping from something. I had to squeeze myself down well-like structures made of clay, and belly-crawl through dark, tight tubes with wet floors and roots poking through the walls. I was hyperventilating from claustrophobia, wanting to ask to go back, but knowing for some reason that I shouldn’t. At one point in the dream, the narrow tunnel suddenly opened up onto a huge, brightly-lit basketball court with shining floors. I expected a sense of relief from the enormous, pristine space, but I still felt completely overwhelmed with claustrophobia. The volume of the room was not enough to convince me that all the earth I’d traveled downward through wouldn’t close in and swallow me up.
“--starving and I wanna eat, but daddy’s laying on the floor SNORING!”
“I’m hungry! Will you make me some cereal?”
“MOM, LOOK! It’s ten! See? I can read the clock now, and it says ‘TEN!’”
All I heard was: “Daddy’s laying on the floor SNORING” and was immediately pissed.
I rubbed my eyes, forgetting I was still wearing mascara from my concert the night before, and smeared the mascara right into my eye and scratched it. Again. I always scratch my eye when I’m grumpy.
I came downstairs and the Hubs bade me a cheerful “GOOD MORNING!” as he washed the dishes, to which I replied by whining at him that I didn’t get my ONE birthday wish. (Well, technically there were two, but - I can make my own bacon.)
“But – You slept in. Isn’t that what you wanted?”
Ugh. Men. He totally only heard the first part of what I said. He didn’t get it, didn’t understand what I was going for. What was I gonna do, whine and nag him while he was doing the freaking dishes?? So instead I pretended I needed to walk the dog and went outside and balled my eyes out in the sunshine, thanking God no neighbors were around to witness me being an idiot.
I came back in and sat on the sofa, eating the bacon that the Hubs had cooked for me. But I couldn’t stop crying. He brought me pulpy orange juice (my favorite!) still not noticing I was crying, which made me cry even harder. I couldn’t really pin-point what I was mad about (or sad? I don’t know…) and I started to wonder if maybe I really was bothered by having a birthday. Maybe I hadn’t really forgotten it, but had been subconsciously trying to avoid the topic these last few months.
Marisol climbed up on the couch beside me and said, “Mommy, why are you sad?”
“I’m not sad.”
“Then why are you crying?”
“I’m not crying.”
“But I can see water dripping from your eyes,” she said in her squeaky two-year-old voice, petting my cheeks and examining me with huge, somber eyes. She eats her boogers.
I smiled, hugged her, and stopped crying.
We took the kids to the local soccer fields and kicked the ball around for a while. We had a whole field to ourselves and ran ourselves ragged. It was hot, but there was a breeze, and lots of blue sky. Then we went to Wal-Mart and spent a hundred bucks on a bunch of random crap that we don’t need (we went in for contact liquid) and ended up in line for the teller who blatantly rolled her eyes at me one time when I asked for help, but for some reason was nice today.
We came home and worked in the garden for a couple of hours, trimming the crazy tomato plants back to nubs, picking enough lettuce to make a huge salad, and replanting some basil-gone-wild, cutting a bunch of it so I could make a pesto-sauce. We had three avocados about to go bad and the Hubs made guacamole with them. We re-heated the left-over steak from Friday night’s dinner and cracked open a bottle of wine. Before sitting down to eat, the Hubs put on some salsa music and we showed the kids how we fell in love – by dancing. At first, the kids were jealous, but we cajoled them into joining in, and before we knew it they were dizzy from spinning, giggling and cackling like little hyenas.
I researched the symbolism of the dream I had. The tunnels are supposed to mean I’m exploring aspects of my subconscious, opening myself to a new awareness, or could be an indication of my limited perspective as in the phrase "tunnel vision." Claustrophobia is supposed to mean I have feelings of guilt; that I fear I’ll be punished for my past's actions. I don’t know what the basketball court meant – they didn’t have an explanation for that.
I think I merely have an aversion to being crushed to death. And that if I knew I had that fear, I shouldn’t have gone down all those dark tunnels in the first place. That a big giant room in the middle of a bunch of scary tunnels isn’t the thing that’s going to make the fear go away. The only way to surmount the problem I’ve gotten myself into is to turn around and go back through it, so that I can return to a place that is authentic and wide-open. Where I can run myself ragged, put my hands in the dirt, and dance until I’m dizzy.
Okay, so… It was a pretty damn good day…
But I’m still not going to write a birthday post.