Saturday, November 2, 2013

It's November!

It's November, and that means it's time for turtlenecks and warm socks and flannel sheets, three of my favorite things. In our family, November also means birthdays--three of them. One of the first things Steve and I discovered about each other during my freshman year at Westminster was that we shared a birthday. It was an odd coincidence that maybe helped us together at first. And it was kind of fun when we were dating, but later on it started to feel a little less fun. You know how it is when you're a kid: your birthday is your special day. There's a present on your bedside table when you wake up, you get to take cupcakes to school, there are birthday cards in the mail when you get home, your mom makes your favorite dinner, and then there are more presents and more cake. For that one day in the year, you are celebrated. Granted, some of the birthday hoopla wanes with age, but your birthday is still your own special day every year--except when you share it with your husband. You might think a double birthday would mean double the celebration, but in our case, the two kind of cancelled each other out. Think about it: Who makes the cake? Who hangs balloons and streamers? Who plans a special dinner? It was hard for the kids, too, at least when they were younger--there was no parent to help them get ready for the other parent's birthday. So our joint-birthday always ended up feeling a little more like an anniversary. Fortunately, our first child joined our November birthday club. For a while, we thought he might arrive right on our birthday, but he took his time and claimed his very own special day. So although Steve and I don't usually eat cake on our birthday, we happily share Ben's a few days later. Over the years, I've slowly gotten used to sharing my birthday. In fact, sharing a birthday, especially a November birthday, seems to suit Steve and me. November, with its grays and browns and leftover yellows, is a subdued, understated month--tucked in there between bold, golden October and merry, red-and-green December. Steve and I, with our November-ish personalities, fit right in. I'm not sure how we'll celebrate our birthday this year--something quiet and subdued no doubt--but we'll do it together as we have for more than thirty years. And these days, I wouldn't want it any other way.

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