My birthday and our anniversary both happened last week. Because Murphy’s Law is real, my husband was working on both of them. That makes planning a celebration more challenging.
Naked truth here, I’m 99.9% fine with not celebrating my birthday. It’s nothing to do with age (I’m 41, so now you know). If you asked me what sort of special day I’d like, in the middle of summer, when I’ve been taking the kids to the pool every day, a party is not what I crave. Things I’d like to do for my birthday? Not have to feed anyone. Have an uninterrupted bath. Total control of the remote and time to crochet. Crafty introvert things (I’m not a very exciting person, I know, but it’s 90+ degrees out, and I’m 4 months pregnant).
As an alternative, I enjoy fun family trips for my birthday, to a museum, zoo, or historical site, but not without my husband. I am uncomfortable with the day being all about me. If my husband can come, trips as a family are much more fun than a party. We’ll take one, but Mom’s fun family birthday trip must be postponed until Daddy has time off.
Anniversary celebrations are more fun, because it’s focused on us, not me. I get to find a great gift for my husband. This year, I ordered a custom pocket oratory from Oremus Dolls on Facebook. A pocket oratory is a folded leather type of wallet that opens into a cross shape. Inside are holy medals, prayers, and religious pictures. He was delighted, and I love surprising him. It still wasn’t much of a celebration that day, though, because after a 12 hour work day in the boilers, he was beat.
So today, we celebrated. As soon as we brought the kids home from swimming lessons, my parents showed up and off my husband and I went for a whole day out of town together. It’s amazing what several hours of uninterrupted conversation can do for a person–and a couple. In our case, we enjoy uninterrupted silence together, because a comfortable silence with someone you love is the only thing better than comfortable solitude. My husband wanted to buy me all sorts of things, but really, I crave that time with him–just him. When we met, he already had a 7-year-old daughter. We’ve never had a relationship that was just us. Time alone is precious, far more than any gift.
Today we sneaked away to celebrate 17 years together by just being together.