Saturday was my birthday.
I am 36.
We went to a Japanese restaurant to celebrate -- the same place we went for my anniversary a few years ago, when one child had a major bathroom incident and the other projectile vomited all over our shared table. We left abruptly (because, really, that's all you can do when a waiter is trying to clean up your child's vomit with a handheld floor sweeper) and it was not a good day.
"I remember this restaurant. Is this the place you took us to on the night you decided to ban us from anniversaries? Because NATURE happened?" Big Kid asked, obviously still pissed.
"Yes. They probably have 'wanted' posters of us up in the kitchen. We only dare return now, years later."
"It wasn't our fault. It's totally unfair we can't come to anniversary dinners."
"Totally unfair I had to live through that. No one better puke tonight."
And no one puked. They loved the dinner show. Big Kid is a total foodie and was awe-struck by the array of food before him. They were wonderful conversationalists and interacted easily with the strangers seated among us (a difficult task even for me.) They were fun to be around. It was a great night.
I took this picture of my little family before we left and when I saw it, I had a sharp intake of breath. Literally. It felt like my heart stopped. THIS is mine. Even with all of my mistakes and regrets and heartaches and bad days, I have all of this:
I am so lucky.
Although I usually cry on every birthday, I didn't this year because life is so good. So freaking hard and impossible to control and it hurts and yet it's so beautiful and amazing and abundant.
I think 36 is going to be okay.
It's got to be better than 35 was, right?
And for the record, despite the successes of Saturday, I'm still not inviting the kids on anniversary dates.