Today I’m Turning 34

Today is my birthday.  This year, I decided that at this age, you get what you want for your birthday by asking for it.  So this year, I told my family that I wanted to watch Harold and Maude, eat tapas, drink sangria and wear pajamas.  So that’s what we did.


Kane let Eila pick out a present for me.  Little kids, when given some choice in the matter, almost always give gifts that they themselves would like to receive.  Imagining what someone else would like is a skill that develops over time, and not usually by the time a child turns three.  So a three-year-old is likely to give you, their mother, a chocolate bar or some legos for your birthday.  (Not that mothers don’t like chocolate, or legos for that matter, but those are things the kid wants too.  And they’re not going to get you a nice perfume or that label maker you’ve been wanting.)  But our Eila seems to have a gift for noticing others’ feelings.  And this is what she got me for my birthday this year:

Eila gets me cerealThat’s a heart shaped paper weight and a box of cereal.  According to Kane, she responded several different times to the question “What do you want to give Mama for her birthday?” with a very certain “Cereal.”  The background on this is that I’m a person who you do NOT want to be around when I’m hungry (often displaying several of these “hangry” types at once), and a food I usually have time and energy to prepare for myself is cereal.  So it’s not unusual for Eila to see me nearing a complete meltdown while growling “I NEED TO EAT” to anyone who will listen.  And it’s not unusual for her to see me scarf down some cereal after that and then resume playing with her happily.  So I’m not surprised that when Eila was trying to think of what Mama really, really wants, she came up with this.


I don’t have the best memory, and this decade (my 3o’s) is the one where I started forgetting how old I am.  So I developed a trick for remembering.  Basically, on your birthday, you have to create a memorable keepsake or artifact that incorporates your age, so you can refer back to it when asked how old you are.  For example, last year, on my 33rd birthday, I made a hat with a “33” on it.  And throughout the year, I relied on the mental image of that hat to know how old I was.


This year, my creation was not so tangible, but it is similarly etched in my mind.  I wrote a song about turning 34.  See me perform it below, while please not judging, as I am not a musician!

And while babies may not drink sangria, they sometimes help their mama make some.  (They were mostly making the virgin batch for themselves, but I may have let them slice fruit for mine as well.)

babies make sangria






Eila stirs



And our dear friend, Lori, came over to celebrate with us.  Here she is with the girls.  Note the pajamas.

lori and girls


lori and girls


lori and girls


Also, I really, truly got everything I wanted for my birthday this year, including repairs for my other ukulele, a business class I’ve been dying to take, and some vegan cookbooks.  Oh, and cereal.