On a day in April, when Victorians were wearing shorts and trading their fancy coffees for slushies, I turned 39. It was a more muted affair this year, sprawling over a weekend rather than a month. But the sentiment was the same: I felt loved.
Of course, there was a humorous dash of: Holy crap, how could it have been 20 years since I was 19 and being taken to a bar for the first time?
Yes, gentle readers; this girl was a rebel without a cause only after the provincial government proclaimed it was legal for her to be said rebel without a cause.
How my life has changed over 20 years, and how I will proclaim again: I am so very happy that selfies weren’t invented in 1996.
The weekend before my birthday, Miss S decided our date would be to the museum. We spent the morning exploring the First People’s Gallery and interacting with the Our Living Languages exhibit, which along with ol’ Woolly (Mammoth) are Miss S’s current favs.
Naturally, we topped our trip up with a visit to Murchies for tea and a chocolate croissant the size of Miss S’s head.
Later, Miss Q met her mothership at paint your own pottery. I began to wonder who’s birthday-gras it was as Miss Q’s eyes gleamed at all the choices in front of her. We spent many peaceful hours designing and decorating a gnome (me) and a beaver (Miss Q).
It is important to note, for when she reads this blog post, that Miss C didn’t get a Saturday date, and was quite okay with this. She and I have regular romps through town, and I sheepishly report she may be addicted to Vanilla Steamed Milks…
Conscious absolved, we can now move on.
The world was exuding love my birthday week. My mother pulled a turkey out of her bottomless freezer and cooked a full thanksgiving feast in my honour… though I suspect she was also trying to use up the turkey.
My brother’s family sang me happy birthday on my answering machine and baked me cupcakes.
My husband took me out for a night on the town.
I got to watch adult TV (adult as in not Paw Patrol), had a pedicure and dinner with a childhood friend, and wandered up and down my favourite beach.
The day of my birthday I was taken out for breakfast, mid-morning snacks, and dinner at Fisherman’s Warf.
Not only did I eat my way through my 14,247th day, I got to top it off with an impromptu water taxi ride through the inner harbour. Can you believe that none of the girls, or my husband, protested this plot twist? Not only was this a birthday miracle, the girls want to go again, and, I also think I found my next gig: water taxi captain. Water + boat + tourists = could happen.
In these, the early days of my 39th year, I find my perspective on life shifting. I am pickier, less willing to settle for things like bad restaurants, and more into quality experiences; and working on my passions.
Suddenly and, finally, at 39th I am beginning to realize that my time means something, and not just because I have three littles who I’m hopelessly devoted to, but because I realize how quickly something you don’t enjoy doing can eat up your day.
At 39, I feel older, but not decrepit. I feel wiser but am still a student. The impulsive Aries in me still feels like anything is possible. The lazy Aries in me wishes she could snap her fingers and not have to do the behind the scenes work.
One of my friends pointed out that this will be the last year we have a 3 in front of our age. Since it’s too late to be a Vulcan or C3PO, I will take comfort in the fact TV shows I watched as a three-year-old, the ones that are still on the air, are celebrating 40 year anniversaries and Punky Brewster now has four kids of her own.
Driving home on the first night of my 39th year, we passed a man playing guitar on a hill and another playing cello in a field. People were out running, walking and socializing under cherry blossoms and in sidewalk cafes. My family was content, and drooling over the promised night cap: birthday Nanaimo Bars.
Life at 39 is good.