Know what's awesome about birthdays? Um, everything.
I went for a morning swim today. For my birthday, I allowed myself to be late to work and staff meeting so that I could be weightless and wonderful for a half an hour. It was worth it.
I thought about all the birthdays I've swam on. Which is most of them. (My birthday's at the end of freakin July. Its hot. And I love swimming.) The year I swam hard and fast laps in St. Louis before I ended up getting drunk enough to ask my husband out. Before he was my husband I mean. Before he was anything but my friend. And being my friend was huge. But friend crushes are scary. I remember I heard a song in the gym pool that morning that made me think of him. I had planned to out myself and my crush and the morning swim helped me fortify myself in my plan. Or the years when I was a kid and would go to the town pool. I remembered the year I went with girlfriends to a water park.
Its been a lot of good birthdays. I have spectacular birthdays really. There are some that really stick out in my memory. I remember my 5th birthday when my parents gave me the tags for my cat Morris. He was the best cat ever. Used to walk me to school and leap into my arms if I called him and let me hoola hoop with him in the garage. He slept with me every night for almost 17 years. That year we saw the Muppets at the movie theater and I got to invite more friends than my parents meant to allow and it was just perfect.
I remember turning 16 and the diamond earrings my dad got me that are still hanging out in my ears today 15 years later. Next year I'll have been wearing them 1/2 my life. 16 and taking a float trip and camping with a girlfriend. There might have been some doing drugs on a high school cops lawn back in those days, but I wouldn't swear on it.
21 and my brother flying to StLouis to be there for it. And going to the same bars he'd been sneaking me into for years but getting in all proper. That was 10 years ago. Is that really possible?
Then there was last year: dirty 30. When I got to score the winning goal in a soccer championship PK shootout. And went camping and got wiinebriated and went to Six Flags and went out for sushi.
This is 31. 31 flavors of wonderful. 31 years of memories. 31 years of preparing me for what my body is doing right now. Sometimes I feel like I look at my life through a prism. Like each time I see a new refraction, a new angle, a slightly different colored view. Like this year I think of my previous birthdays much more than the current one. And I think ahead to the birth of my own child. I think of my mom being pregnant this late in July and how badly she must have wanted to be done and how I have this history of all awesome birthdays and parents to thank for that. I think how happy I'll be to celebrate my own child's birthdays. I think how my baby feels in my belly this far along and how beautifully big and round my belly looks.
Lately, I've been enjoying being naked more than ever in my life. How's that for odd. I like looking at the changes and how magical that belly is in a mirror. How it can be held up by abs or let loose like a water baloon.
It doesn't really feel like me this year. Because its not entirely just me. I guess I'm sharing my birthday quietly this year. Introspectively.