Monday, June 18, 2007

364 Days to Go

So I’m 33. Which was news to me, for I frankly had lost count long ago.

Someone asked me a week ago how old I was, and I simply didn’t know. As I wrote a few years ago, I don’t like to celebrate birthdays.

But ever since getting married, I have been softening on the recognition of the “emergence-from-the-womb” day. I’d like to think that I’m getting older and more mature, but I think the honest truth is that I’m married to a wonderful woman who goes out of her way to make sentimental moments easier experiences for me.

So yesterday was my birthday. For the most part, I managed to slide under the radar. I had celebrated the occasion with my family the day before (lumped in with Father’s Day and my younger brother’s birthday) in Fairfield, TX.

At church, I drew a small amount of attention, but only because three other people have birthdays in proximity to mine. After the services, Bethany and I joined these exceptional souls at the home of Robert and Alys Foster, where we had lunch and a small informal gathering.

Once we left the gathering, Bethany and I went home and caught a much-needed map. And then got ready for the evening’s festivities.

It is very important to Bethany that we do something to celebrate my birthday. And we’re getting into a good rhythm as each year progresses.

Bethany prepared a wonderful dinner with all my favorite dishes (authentic four-cheese pizza, apple gorgonzola salad, Roquefort cheese dipping sauce, a good Chianti and buttermilk pie for dessert). We invited a few friends over to share in the meal and then just talked and played games for the rest of the evening.

No cake, no candles, no party hats, no singing. Just good food, good company and good times.

And as Bethany learns more about my preferences with each year that passes, I find myself dreading my birthday less and less.

And that’s anecdotal evidence of how much Bethany loves me: she finds ways to make circumstances with which I have discomfort into enjoyable events.

Perhaps this year will be the year I begin to look forward to my birthday. Only 364 days to birthday 2008 …