Happy Birthday To Me
Yes friends, today is my birthday. (I considered ending that sentence with an exclamation point, but it feels like after 30, a period is more appropriate.)
And while I’m feeling a little bit like, “when did I turn around and become XX years old?”, I do love birthdays. I am the type of person who believes the month of January should be a celebration of me, and am more than happy to schedule multiple celebratory events rather than have one big blow out. (Although, I had some blow outs in my 20s and then there was my 30th in Vegas…complete with table dancing.) This year is no exception. (Sans dancing on tables of course. Pregnant lady dancing on a table = sad.) My sister is coming over today to spend the day Being Girlie (translation for my male readers: mani/pedi, lunch out, shopping and then dinner…basically looking for opportunities to spend money). Mr. Mimi is taking me to one of my fave restaurants on Friday and of course, there is the requisite family dinner occurring on Saturday night. (Your welcome in advance, family for I know how you love that my birthday stretches out the holiday season just that much longer and creates the need for just one more family dinner.)
I know I’m going to have a lovely birthday. BUT….
I’m not going to be with my friends. And by friends, I mean my little kiddos. While I was in the classroom, I sometimes fantasized taking my birthday as a personal day, but could never rationalize it enough to actually pull the trigger and just do it. Hence, I always had my birthday at work.
And you know what?
It was always awesome.
I mean, today will be fabulous. My sister and I get to spend the whole day together and we will have a blast (read: spend a lot of money….) (Just kidding, honey!) but there is still a pathetic part of me that will miss the Teacher Lunchtime Celebration and Spontaneous Student Festivities.
What is the Teacher Lunchtime Celebration you ask?
WELL. The Teacher Lunchtime Celebration consists of pizza from the local pizza place because, honestly, pizza is one of our only fancy options. That or sandwiches from the bodega on the corner with lots of cats. (Although, I have to admit, I have had one and it was relatively cat hair free, but for a birthday? No.) So we have pizza. I always eat one and a half slices (and then scarf one more down before I pick up the kids which is ALWAYS a mistake yet I make it year after year and birthday after birthday because….well, because pizza is not PB&J and as sad as it is, ordering lunch out is a big freaking deal for teachers in my neck of the woods.)
You might be thinking that pizza doesn’t sound very special, but have you ever tried finding a time to discretely use your cellphone to order a pizza while teaching? I mean, those of us that are teachers know that using your cell phone in front of the kiddos feels very illicit. The few times I have done it, I felt this overwhelming sense of guilt and just plain “wrongness”. Like I was lighting up a cigarette or taking tequila shots in front of them or something. So the fact that one of my Super Colleagues figured out the proper time, REMEMBERED said time during the chaos of the morning and then actually MADE THE CALL makes pizza pretty special.
And it gets even better. There are cupcakes. From one of my favorite bakeries. Which means another Super Colleague trudged there the night before and then dragged a bag full of deliciousness to work, hid it in her closet all morning and kept her fingers crossed that our resident vermin were not interested. I mean, does that say special or what?
The best part though, was the kids. Every year it would be something. Piles of home made birthday cards sneaked into my chair. Impromptu renditions of “Happy Birthday” sung on the playground. Small pieces of artwork. For that one moment, there were no cries of, “My brother’s birthday is in January!” “My birhtday is in May!” “There are only eight more days until my birthday.” They put all that aside for me, even if it was just for a moment.
Roll your eyes, call me ridiculous, I don’t care. School birthdays were the BEST.