In January I started worrying about my birthday. In the past, I made it a rule to plan my birthday, not waiting for anyone else to remember the date and put a party together for me. This suited me on several levels: I did not want to be disappointed and I knew myself as a reluctant receiver of surprises. I’m high maintenance with regards to parties and birthday celebrations. I like everything to be just right.
On my 38th birthday I invited my friends to a day-long birthday bash with catered food and a jumpy house for kids. There was one year when I handed out goody bags of chocolate truffles to all guests. Another time I invited my girlfriends to dinner at a restaurant, all expenses paid. And on March 9th mornings I set up that fabulous surprise table for the kids and decorated the house.
This year, on my 40th birthday, I was in for a surprise. Literally. When I mentioned to my boyfriend that my birthday is coming and I’m going to start making plans, he answered, “Leave your birthday to me.” Just like that. I was rendered speechless. He wanted me to surrender control??? To let go of the reins I had held so tightly for so long? But what if I’m disappointed? What if I end up not liking what he had planned?
Letting go is my lifelong challenge, and so I promptly let go (as much as I could), and allowed Dar a free hand, only making sure once in a while that he’s still on top of this important task. And the weeks passed. February almost ended. March loomed in the doorway, sunny and bright. And though Dar had asked if I wanted to go to Hawaii or perhaps Morro Bay for my birthday, no word was said about my gift, my party. Nothing moved.
Behind the scenes, however, and out of my direct line of sight, plans were blossoming. My best friend initiated the wheels for a surprise party, put together by the world’s most unreliable keepers of secrets, complete with food, decorations, cakes, a saxophone performance, and two uncoordinated but perfectly identical gifts.
|The girls’ beautiful cake|
The surprise didn’t happen quite as expected (see above, unreliable keepers of secrets), but there was plenty for me to be surprised about. My niece and my best friend’s daughter baked me a cake and decorated it themselves with a stunning display of intricate flowers, rambling leaves, and cute little forest animals. Dar ordered a huge and beautifully decorated Purim birthday cake that was gluten and dairy free and very yummy. He and my dad both printed out a collection of my blog posts till March, using the painting from the blog as a cover, and I got to do my first signing for everyone! I also received four boxes of chocolate as gifts!
The perfect birthday! I felt surrounded by love. Amazing how losing just a little bit of control can give so much back. I might be able to get used to that.
Thank you, dear organizers and dear guests! Lots of love back.