I turned 40 earlier this month. It’s a birthday I was looking forward to, if only because I’ve witnessed how this fifth decade of life has been good to Rob and his growth as person, and I’ve been looking forward to experiencing a little of that myself. Truth be told, I don’t feel any different than I did three weeks ago, which is really just a way of saying that despite what my birth certificate says, my head is still convinced that I might only be 25.
Even though my birthday falls just 10 days after Christmas, my friends and family happily donned their party planning hats, and I literally spend a week celebrating my milestone birthday with some of my favourite people. From a home cooked dinner with cake and presents on the actual day, to a dinner out with a few of my favourite food-writing friends the next night, the early part of the week was feted in sweet yet simple ways. It was the weekend following my birthday that Rob, who knew I didn’t want a big party, got a little more creative by planning not one or two, but THREE different gatherings with varying groups of people.
On the Friday night he invited a few of my girlfriends over for a three-course meal cooked by him. For real. He started with wine and cheese in the living room, before calling us to the table for the first course, which was prepared by him and served by Jackson. We feasted on butternut squash soup with Gruyere croutons, followed by salmon served with roasted potatoes and a side of veg, and then birthday cake, which he picked up from a nearby bakery.
For Saturday night, he planned for a nice dinner out with my sister and her husband, and arranged that we leave our combined six kids behind for an adults-only evening. Matthew also had his first sleepover away from home that night, which resulted in my first sleep through the night since February of last year, a real birthday gift of it’s own (side note: that boy of mine is delightful, but also happens to be one of the worst sleepers I’ve ever encountered).
Finally, on Sunday night, Rob invited our entire Sunday Supper crew for a family birthday party, and cooked dinner for 24 people himself. My sister and nieces took care of the birthday cake and sweets, while my mom supplied the pre-dinner snacks My nine nieces and nephews were here, as was my oldest friend from University, and in addition to the great food, there were presents and cake, and “happy birthday” signing and it was utterly perfect. There is no denying that I was feeling the love, and just a little bit spoiled, after FOUR celebrations in less a week. People took care of me and helped me celebrate, and for the first time in a long, long time I wasn’t the CEO of the family birthday celebrations, and it was kind of nice.
What about you guys? Any big birthdays on the horizon for you or your kids? How are you celebrating this year?