This past Sunday we celebrated the Tornado’s third birthday. We didn’t spend a lot of money on it, didn’t buy a lot of presents, and it was just us. And yet, he was happy. At this age it really isn’t about the quantity of gifts or how many people are there. Ryan doesn’t care how much money is spent on him. What is important to him was that he got a new Thomas the Train play set(big fans here at Chez Lunatic-especially Ryan whose first name is actually Thomas) and a big red ball. He also got a Land Before Time dvd and a new LeapFrog cartridge for his LeapPad tablet, but he has not really messed with either of these. The ball and the train have his complete attention.
When do we lose this wonderful quality, to be happy with the simple things? I know not everyone is this way, but it seems to me to be less and less prominent now. My older boys have come back to this. They are just happy to get the one thing they want most, and I’m pleased about that. I’ve tried to teach them how it’s more important to be with the people you love, and not about how many gifts you receive. We don’t always have large presents under the tree or a lot of them at Christmas. On birthdays we celebrate by either making their favorite meal, or by going out to their favorite restaurant. There are a few gifts, but the day is about them, spending time with them and letting them know that there is someone who is happy that they were born, that they have made my world better just by being in it. I don’t often buy a store-bought cake, although sometimes they have asked for one and have received one when they do. I try to make a special cake to let them know they are worth the effort, even though I suck at cake decorating. One year I made a three tier cake for Lock. It had cupcakes as it’s top tier and his candles were long sparkler candles, and it had M&M’s sprinkled on it. Another year I took the sugar cones for ice cream and made cupcakes that looked like ice cream cones. For the Tornado’s cake, I made a rainbow cake. It was supposed to look more tie-dyed but came out a really great rainbow effect instead. And it is delicious.
Somehow, even though we don’t have the big celebrations, we still have fun. Birthdays are a big deal to me. They always have been, and not just my own. It’s special. The world would not be the same, my life would not be the same, and it’s a big freaking deal! It was the day when anything could happen, the day the world smiled down on you. Not that anything couldn’t go wrong. I’ve had some birthdays that were less than stellar. But, it’s an important day, and I want you to know how important you are to me. At the same time, on my birthday, I want to know that I am as important to you as you are to me. Just remember me that day, that’s all. I don’t need gifts, though I do like flowers. But I don’t need them. A simple phone call to tell me Happy Birthday makes my day every time. And so, I’m trying to pass this along to my sons. Jack still doesn’t understand but he’s nine and will get there. Sean and Lock get it now. It gives me hope for their children. If they can pass this idea, this value, down to their kids, then that gives me a sense of happiness for the future of my descendants. I know we’re all different and nothing ever goes the way we plan, but even if just one person learns this one lesson, that it’s the simple act of coming together as a family (even if by family you understand that I mean those we choose as family as well-friends, etc.) that gives us joy and not the money spent, then that’s one more person to pass it to the next generation. It will live on.
And the quote above, it’s how I’m feeling today. It’s from The Taming of the Shrew (if you aren’t familiar with it). Today, I just want to sit and be still. To look at my roses in my backyard and enjoy this time. The world is slipping away so quickly from me these days that I can barely believe it’s almost May. However, things I want to happen are going so slowly that I feel I’m wasting time waiting for them. I’m not growing any younger, and my next birthday is coming up sooner than I want it to. So, I’m having trouble balancing these feelings of not doing enough and slowing time down. But not today. Today I’m not feeling particularly well. So, I’m waxing sentimental, which explains the Shakespeare. I am having a craving for Shakespeare (don’t judge me-I never said I wasn’t weird-hint: the title of my blog begins with lunatic, your first clue). All I want to do right now is crawl into bed, cover up and listen to one of his plays. No tv, no music (gasp! I know-first sign I really am not feeling well), no nothing. But, I have the Tornado to care for and work to do. I need to get some writing done, and laundry really needs doing. I have so much to complete today and I don’t like being sick. So, you get the sentimental version of sick me. Almost Byronic, but not quite. At least, not yet anyway. I’ll try to warn you before she appears. Can a woman even be described as Byronic? If not, she should be. We have those moments, too.
Anyway, I’m off to go grab the Tornado from the office and get him settled elsewhere. I’m working from the dining room table today where I can look out the window and see my roses, which have begun to bloom in profusion overnight. I really need to cut them back, but they are so stunning in their wildness right now that I don’t have the heart to create order from it until the roses are gone. I am also going to sip on a cup of tea, hope my stomach will not remonstrate me for this, and try to get as much work done for the day as I can. Then, I have a feeling a nap is going to happen whether I want it to or not. My body is out of sorts and wants to rest so, I’m sure that’s on it’s agenda. And, maybe later I’ll turn on Much Ado or one of the Hollow Crowns, or maybe As You Like It or Hamlet (I love Hamlet). Or maybe even The Phantom of the Opera ( I know, not Shakespeare). I don’t know. We’ll see.
Take care today, you guys, and I’ll see you tomorrow.