Things I Did Today


Not in chronological order, necessarily.

  • Worked. It was an oddly quiet day, which I’m choosing to believe was a cosmic birthday present.
  • Got a pedicure. I know I can paint me peeptoes all by myself, but that’s not really the point, now is it? The peeptoes themselves are now a cheerful light purple that looks like spring. Because I’m pretty sure it’s still coming, one of these days.
  • Was awakened at 5:45 and was cheerful about it. Mostly because I could hear shrill little excited voices in the kitchen helping Paul with a birthday card. When they tumbled into the bed, I made them give me hugs and kisses before I’d open the birthday card. (Also because I got to go back to bed for awhile after being properly impressed.)
  • Listened to Gloria Estafan sing “Come on baby, move your body, do that conga!” over and over. The card Levi chose (because it was The Best One, obviously) plays that when you open it up, and they are not over it yet. I particularly like the sumo-wrestler-on-speed dance that Elias has developed to go with it.
  • Deciphered, with help, the back of the card.
    I’m going to assume you can read the part Paul wrote. The big oval in the top corner is a hug, and there are Xs for kisses below, from Levi. You can’t really see them because Elias “signed” over top of them. I’m pretty sure it’s the best birthday card ever.
  • Admired the roses I got last night because Levi decided it was simply not possible to wait until morning to give them to me.
    Paul took them on a clandestine shopping trip last night after supper. When I say clandestine, I don’t necessarily mean that I didn’t know what was happening or that it was quiet. I mean that they kicked me out of the room to talk about it, and when I reminded Levi that where they were going was a secret he actually clapped his little hand over his mouth and ran out of the room to avoid letting the secret escape. When they got home, Levi ran in from the garage to tell me that they had a surprise. He wasn’t going to tell me what it was, but, “it starts with an F and IT GROWS!!!!” I managed to act surprised anyway.
  • Admired the valentine that came home from preschool with Levi. I’m pretty sure it’s the best valentine ever, too.
  • Finished reading a book. Actually reading, not listening by audio while I washed dishes or folded underpants.
  • Left the house for several hours, completely by myself, as my sister’s birthday present to me.

For most of an afternoon today, I sat in a cafe by myself with a bagel and a chai latte and read a predictable mystery that required nothing from me in the way of real, active attention or complex thought. After I got my treat, I put headphones in and did not speak to one solitary soul the rest of the time. I didn’t even meet anyone’s eyes.

For a little while, I didn’t have to be a mom or an employee or a wife or a sister or a daughter or a volunteer anything. And it was fantastic. Paul is taking me to dinner tonight, and I’m looking forward to it. But I’ll be really honest and tell you that I’m looking forward to it even more because I had a few hours to just be.

If there is someone in your life that is a primary caregiver of some sort, whether it’s of small children or an elderly parent or a sick spouse, I have an idea for you next time you don’t know what to give them for their birthday.

Give them the gift of alone. Best present ever.


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