Rachel S. Heslin
Thoughts, insights, and mindless blather

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Well, according to the commonly accepted modern, Western way of accounting for such things, today marks 34 years that I've been a part of this plane of existence. (Sorry, Derek -- I'll always have a couple of years' head start.)

Birthdays weren't that big of a deal for me for most of my life. As a little kid, I had cool theme parties that my parents put together for me and my friends, but as I got older, it was not that much different from any other day. (I forgot my 16th birthday and was confused at the presents at my place at the breakfast table.)

I thought -- and to a certain extent, still think -- that age was a rather arbitrary measurement of one's growth as an individual. Besides, I always thought of myself as a couple of years older than I was. In fact, when I turned 21, it was something of a let-down, because on some level, I'd assumed I was already 23, so 21 was moving backwards.

My lackadaisical attitude towards birthdays turned out to be a problem when I met Shawn. Birthdays are a very big deal to him. It hasn't helped that, for the last 20 years, people have remembered his best friend's birthday on February 10, but not Shawn's on February 11. His friend feels bad about this and does everything he can to help, but it is what it is. Then this year, some friends had the audacity to have their first child born on Shawn's birthday.

Anyway, I realized that birthdays aren't about age. They're about celebrating the existence of someone you care about. I can deal with that.

Now I get to brag about swag: my honey got me a new, metallic purple and black faceplate for my phone (I keep cracking them), DVDs of The Bourne Identity and Spy Kids 2 (which, like xXx, was far more intelligent than it had any right to be), a Powerpuff Girls coloring book with black pages and pastel crayons (very cool!), and a quarterstaff that's just my size! I'm pooling my birthday money from various relatives and find I have enough for slippers and 3 months of ballet lessons, so I'm happy.

And, to top it off, I got to see my hubby last night and this morning and this afternoon (he'd forgotten something and came back after school) and he's got next week off for spring break.


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