29 December 2011

Seventeen Times Three

When I was seventeen, I was a freshman in college. When I was thirty four, I was working at a small museum in NYC, living with but not engaged to my now husband. Now I'm fifty one, and according to my eight year old, the oldest mother of a third grader in history.

While having a between-Christmas-and-New-Years birthday is sometimes not all it should be, what with the "here's your Christmas/birthday present", I've done a pretty good job of training my nearest and dearest, and my mother always did right by me. In fact, given that her due date was 12/25, the best present ever might have been that she waited a few days so I wasn’t a Christmas baby. There are other good things: the time of year being what it is, I never had school on my birthday, and I think I've had to work it only once or twice. Generally, it's like today - nothing to do, no work, no school, no obligations - just a mid-winter holiday all my own.

Right now, I'm sitting at my dining room table, feeling surrounded by love - love from family and friends, near and far, real and virtual. My husband bought me a little pile of things off of my Amazon wish list, which I didn't even know he knew about. I usually use it as an aide-mémoire: things I might need one day, books I might want to get from the library. But I was enormously tickled to open up a box containing the Kuhn Rikon "4th Burner" pot - an odd little contraption that I'd book marked last June thinking I'd buy it for him for Christmas. I was thrilled to find that he'd gotten me the geeky box of 100 Pantone postcards - each a different color chip. He also got me Nigel Slater's Tender - which prompted me to announce at the breakfast table that I might run off to London to marry Slater, thereby thoroughly confusing my daughter which meant I had to explain that he wouldn't have me anyway because he's a poofta, and then I had to define that. So many entanglements on not enough coffee...

I have rules about my birthday. If you give me a present on Christmas Day, I will put it aside until today. The book of Edward Gorey's letters - a book I did not know existed, but was a perfect gift for more reasons than I can enumerate - came from my sister-in-law, and has been waiting on a shelf since the week before Christmas. My in-laws brought presents on Christmas Day; they went on the same shelf. My brother and his wife mailed the presents I accidentally left behind after our Christmas Eve celebration - and now that I think about it, the leaving behind may have been a subconscious move, though I didn't mean for them to have had to go to the expense and hassle of posting the box to me.

The internet has made my life richer in many ways, filling my Facebook wall and Twitter stream with birthday wishes. The doorbell rang with a bouquet of flowers from the lovely Brand About Town women, who have made me irrationally fond of all Nintendo products just because they are such stellar cultivators. And UPS just delivered a book, from Sarah, my sister from another mother - whom I'd never have met but for our blogs.

Can I be a little verklempt? I am. I couldn't have wished for a better birthday.

27 comments:

Sarah said...

What I can't believe is that Amazon got it there in one day. Wow.

Happy day, Maggie.

Swistle said...

I have those Pantone postcards on my wish list too! I LOVE them!

jo(e) said...

Happy Birthday!

Kyla said...

I'm glad you are having a wonderful birthday.

When I was 17, I was a freshman in college...later that year I got engaged AND married. 17 was a busy year for me. ;) I haven't hit 17 times 2 yet.

De said...

When I was seventeen, I met my future husband at a holiday party. When I was 34 I was recovering from a nervous breakdown. Where I'll be in six years...?

RuthWells said...

Happy, happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, love your blog.
Linda

amira said...

Happy Birthday Maggie! Sounds like you got an impressive bulk of presents, there.

Varda said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!!! From one 51 year-old to another. 3 x 17 indeed!

Jody said...

Happy Birthday, a day late!

susan said...

Happy, happy birthday!!!

Mary said...

Have been reading you for a short time. You make me laugh and think these are both great things.I am glad you had a good birthday. May 2012 be plentiful for you and your famly.

Anna said...

happy birthday! love your present tradition.

Eric Graham said...

Belated Happy Birthday!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It definitely sounds like it was a day to savor--as you told me on FB you did!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Speaking of gifts, my older son mentioned the other night how much he liked my cool little NYC plate.

MemeGRL said...

Happy birthday to you! I'm glad you had a great day.

Jocelyn said...

You had me from your first paragraph...and then you went on...and you provided links to delicious-sounding things...and now I just want to click and read about the cards and the poofta and wish you were my mommy and my friend, so I could ask you questions and tell you to have an amazing between-Christmas-and-New-Year's birthday--only a few days too late.

All yummies to you, all the time.

Mental P Mama said...

Happy, Happy Birthday! And, no, you can assure the little one that you are not the oldest mother in the history of ever.

Alan said...

May you always be surrounded by the love of family and friends. Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!

Lady M said...

Happy Birthday! ( A few days late.) I'm a 28th baby - and I also love not having school and work on my day.

Angela said...

Happy Birthday! I'm working on 15 times 3 tomorrow. Must be the 2nd oldest mother of a 2nd grader...

Gina said...

Happy (belated) birthday!

Kizz said...

Capricorns Unite!

Coasting Anon said...

"thereby thoroughly confusing my daughter which meant I had to explain that he wouldn't have me anyway because he's a poofta, and then I had to define that. So many entanglements on not enough coffee..." -- giggling!!

My husband's birthday is New Year's Eve and he totally gets the shaft every year. Then one year his brother got married the day before...it was so 16 Candles!

Me...my birthday is June 27 almost a perfect 1/2 year away from Christmas.

mayberry said...

Oh, it sounds lovely and I am glad it was! Let's see, I'll be 14 x 3 on my next one. But I'm not sure I want to revisit 14.

leanne said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!