I know, from personal experience, that avoiding structured birthday plans can be risky. On past birthday's I've ended up regretting that I didn't schedule a special lunch date or an evening gathering. I've found myself feeling that melancholy wistful birthday self pity. Yesterday though, I took that risk. These past few weeks have been so filled with traveling, visitors, and organized gatherings I just didn't feel up for an event. Spring Break was over. It was a monday, back to work and I felt barely equipped to embrace the mundane multiplicity of my day. It turned out to be full of small unexpected pleasures.
NPR started my day by revealing to me that I share a birthday with one of the members of Salt and Peppa. Who knew? And she is older than me by nearly a decade! Josh cooked me breakfast, and brought me tulips at the end of my class. Fifteen fourteen year olds sang happy birthday to me. After work I had an hour to myself. I sat at the piano and rather clumsily plinked out Musette by the great Johann Sebastian Bach. I stitched a little. I received the many facebook, email, telephone, and texted birthday wishes and felt profoundly cradled and loved by the amazing community I get to be a part of. I had a planning session with a coworker and rode my bike home along the bike path breathing in spring and feeling genuinely excited about the classroom plans we made. I opened cards from my family and sat down to dinner with them. I read a chapter of Harry Potter to my youngest and kissed her slightly sunburned now pealing (from our recent California adventures) forehead goodnight. All the little gestures, interactions, undertakings, and visions that insert themselves into my days, like a string of multicolored beads I get to wear.