A few things I noticed this time around though: I kinda missed the streamers and balloons; the Girl was the only one who insisted on wearing a party dress; I carried my own cake to myself and made the coffee and tea; I got to clean the toilets in preparation for guests. :) Don't get me wrong, I'm not making any complaints, I like preparing and serving for my guests, but I may be noticing some things wistfully. A sign of my impending old age?
I did receive some lovely gifts. This was one of my faves:
My sister printed photos of the two of us from the last 3 trips we had together: New York, Orlando & Boston, and put them in a lovely frame. I smile every time I look at it.
This was another:
Yep, paper cats. It wasn't until yesterday that the boy decided to go through my birthday cards. (When I was opening them for the first time, he was busy with his cousins and friends in the basement.) He noticed that I had received a couple gift cards and some cash from my parents and grandmother. He asked me this:
"Mama, what do you like better, the paper money that you got from Nonna, or the paper cats that I made you?"
I didn't even hesitate. "The paper cats, of course."
He seemed skeptical. "Really, Mama?"
"Absolutely. If I wanted money, I know how to make that, and I would. But I would never have made myself these paper cats. I didn't even know how much I wanted them until I opened your present."
He was more than pleased with that response and walked away happy and sure of himself again after a hug and [reluctant] kiss.
I'm not going to lie, I definitely appreciate the cash and gift cards. It translates to a little pampering for "Mama" that may otherwise not happen, and that is never a bad thing. But the paper cats, and the conversation that followed, rank just a tiny, but measurable, step above. Happy birthday to me.
What was the best gift you've ever received? Do you prefer cash, gift cards or "actual" gifts?