06 November 2014

Birthdays, Expectations, and Feeling Loved

Yesterday was my birthday. I never really know how to feel about birthdays. I don't really mind being another year older, I don't think it is that. Perhaps it is expectation? Or wanting to to not have expectations (i.e. disappointments) for the day? Does the day function differently even though there is still life to be attended to? How does one field the recognition of a day of self? Is it just me or can it feel a bit disconcerting?

Yesterday was my birthday. I am thirty-eight. I have my husband, my children, we are living in France and my mother is here for a visit. It has been a magnificently wacky year and I am grateful beyond measure. Nothing else needed!

But that said, whether I like to admit it or not ... it does feel awfully nice to have loved ones sending notes and saying kind things. For breakfast to be prepared and admonishments administered (no, you may not help clear the table!). And even for a gift or two to be received.

Last night, after a day of exploring Bayeux, I settled into a surprise birthday evening that made me marvel. Shooed away from the kitchen with instructions to "dress fancy," I sat down to a meal planned and prepared by my daughter, Lucette, and her fine sibling sous chefs. Jane added some ambience with end-of-season cuttings from the garden, Peter assembled a perfectly crackling fire, and we ate and shared and loved.

What's more ... they were all so pleased to do this for me.

I don't need fancy. I really don't. Some grocery store flowers and birthday sandwiches on paper plates suit me just fine. But I was humbled, this birthday. To be loved and celebrated so intentionally ... for the effort to be made on my account ... I stopped feeling discomfited and just felt loved.

**As a side note, during dessert I was also re-gifted a favored card that hosts a battery-operated mustache and sings Happy Birthday. Peter and Pops decided I couldn't really want to keep it and decided it would be much more fun to artfully place it in the smoldering embers of the fire while activated. It then proceeded to explode, rocketing coals and sparks and sending all of the women in to shrieks of terror and the boys into giggle fits of glee. Every fancy dinner needs some entertainment.


  1. A very happy birthday to you! And what a wonderful place to celebrate it in :)

  2. Happy Birthday Anna! I'm so glad you had a wonderful day and I pray there are many, many, many more.

  3. A wonderful day, Anna! It can be uncomfortable to be a center of attention, but it's also so nice to be remembered on one's birthday.

  4. This is such a good post. And I am so happy that you had a special day! ������������������ Happy birthday ��

  5. Happy late birthday to you Anna!!! How I am loving your beautiful pictures and updates!! Blessings on your year!! (And if it makes you feel better, I have 10 years on you!!!)

  6. I'm so glad that you stopped on my blog, as it led me to yours. Great post, happiest of birthdays to you and thanks again for stopping in!-- Farrah