Yesterday was Paul’s birthday. He’s 32, the number on his high school basketball jersey (because he wanted to play just like Magic Johnson.) We’re the same age.
My husband comes from a large family who, out of necessity, didn’t throw birthday parties. There was a cake sometime that month, but no presents, party hats nor pin the tail on the donkey. The first year we were married, I thought this was a travesty. I quickly concocted a plan to throw him an elaborate surprise party on his big day. After days and days of planning, preparing and telling him bold face lies, the moment arrived. He took two steps into our 600 sq. foot apartment, heard us shout “surprise!!” and looked at me and asked, “What are all these people doing in our apartment?” He was, indeed, surprised, but he felt uncomfortable all night. That was his last big party.
Since then, we have celebrated in simpler ways: out to dinner, cook his favorite meal at home, or share cake and ice cream with the relatives who live close by. As far as presents go, his expectations are extremely low. He’s honestly thinks us showering him with love and attention is gift enough. I used to think it was a shame he was not more spoiled. Now I am grateful.
I am grateful because yesterday Dean had the throw-ups. I went through 3 shirts, cleaned up three major carpet stains, gave 4 baths, and had a fussy baby glued to my hip all day. Add that on top of everything else a busy mom has to do, and I could not be more glad to have a low maintenance hubby on his birthday.
He already feels like a rock star getting over a dozen phone calls from siblings and friends during the day. He loves getting homemade cards from the kids. (Kate’s was jumbo sized. She used a leftover large cardboard box. It read, “32, We Love You!”) He loves a home cooked meal of roast and potatoes and that’s simple enough thanks to my new pressure cooker. And what did he want to do with the rest of his birthday evening? Help Andy work on his Cub Scout achievements. The man is too easy to please. He did get one small gift from us: the DVD of “Forever Strong,” one of his favorite movies.
The only gift I hope he doesn’t get is Dino’s germs.
(He’s feeling better today.)