July 02, 2006

I Had Me A Great Birthday

Last year (or was it the year before? I am so chronologically challenged), a friend who understands my love of books gave me a Border's gift certificate for my birthday. Before I'd even taken the card out of its little gift jacket I'd made a vow: I would only spend this money on books for ME. Big deal, right? It was, after all, my birthday gift. But as I hopped on the internet to begin the search, I kept coming up with great ideas for my partner. Or my son. And it went on like that for quite some time.

Almost every mother I know talks about this aspect of parenting. Someone – and I wish I could remember who, so I could give you the footnote you so richly deserve – referred to the first years of parenting as, "hanging out in the baby submarine." You're down there in the murky depths with no sense of the wider world. Every now and then you put up a periscope to confirm your bearings, maybe, but then it's right back into the briny deep. Sleep-deprivation, milk-stained clothes, books in rhyme, and only the barest memory of who you would be if left to your own devices.

But I have to give myself a little credit... almost five years into our parenting gig, I did a great job of getting out of the submarine and treating myself this year!

First, a leisurely meander through the stacks at Firestone Library. Resulting in the haul pictured above (and then some, actually).

Then tickets for the whole family to see the incredible Tovah Feldshuh in Hello, Dolly! at the Papermill.

Did she rock? Don't even GET me started.

Then there were the treats I didn't know to ask for but got anyway. My dear friend Stacy wrote this very sweet note about me and shared it with the world.

And my partner and son spent the days leading up to my big day whispering to each other and yelling things like, "You can't come in here!" and "Don't look!!" which I think was pretty much the biggest treat of all.

So here's to treats, especially for those who sometimes find it hard to think of themselves.

(Thanks to Mama Says Om for the yeast.
Check out the other mama submissions over there,
but be careful, it could be habit-forming!)


Andie D. said...

I think it's natural for parents to think of our loved ones whenever we have something that could theoretically be "shared".

But congratulations on realizing that you deserve and need a treat! Take care of yourself and you can take care of your family.

Hm. I think I need to treat myself to a back massage (my 4 year-old son walking on my back and/or karate chopping his way up and down my spine).

SarahJane said...

Happy Birthday! even if i'm late. I wish you many happy reading hours. Your friend's note is touching. Smile.

I know you mean about buying for the kids. I always wondered why my mother would come home with a sweater or shirt for me and nothing for herself, and now I know.

alles gute!

Amy Linder said...

What a great post! I feel like I could have written it myself - I am so, completely awful at treating myself to anything. Even before I had my daughter, but now especially. I can happily buy great things for everyone else, but nothing for me at all. Good for you for taking the opportunity to treat yourself!
Amy :)

michi said...

happy birthday, shelley, though a little late!