My double sweet sixteen
Many Americans are wondering how I spent my 32nd birthday yesterday. They’ve had to occupy their time pretending to be interested in the Super Tuesday election results when really what they wanted to know about was how super was my double sweet sixteen. Wait no longer America. My birthday was awesome, thanks for asking.
As I told you, it began with my pre-shower Monday night and it just kept getting better. First thing Tuesday morning I opened my presents which included the cast iron tortilla press I have been wanting, from Geoff, and a really cool device that grinds corn into flour. Soon I will be making my very own corn tortillas from the corn Geoff grew and dried in the fall. I am very eager to add corn tortillas to the GLR menu. Geoff’s parents sent me season 1 and 2 of the hit PBS series Downton Abbey–it comes highly recommended to me from a variety of sources. They had me at Maggie Smith. Dad sent me pictures of my mom and my mom sent me a check for a very precise age related amount of money. I’ve yet to decide how I will put these funds to use, but fear not, I’ll think of something great. I am currently listening to some songs I bought using my bro-in-law Billy’s gift card to the iTunes. My brother Cody got me some ravioli making tools that I am eager to put to use when he comes to visit in just over a week. I got a ton of other gifts, cards, and messages from friends, students and coworkers. Some of my favorite kids at school got me a gift I’ve always dreamed of having–a shirt with my name on it. Don’t tell, but it might be my favorite gift of all:
My school day was filled with wonderful presents, a potluck lunch, cake, brownies, homemade gifts, cards that played music, and to top it all off, I scheduled a rap battle for sixth period. I can’t exactly remember how this came about, but somehow I challenged one of my students to a rap battle, and my birthday seemed like a great day to have it. The battle itself surpassed my expectations in terms of the sheer joy it brought me. I do have to admit that neither the student nor I are going to be signed by any talent scouts any time soon. We both could use more practice. When our best rhymes involved Harry Potter characters it probably means we are not street enough to make a living at it, yet. Nonetheless, it was definitely a bucket list moment.
Geoff and I went to Danville for dinner. Because it was a school night I did not have the umph to make it to Louisville or Lexington. There is a James Beard award winning chef in Louisville whose restaurant I have my eye on, but we’ll save that for another day. Our D’ville dinner was lovely, above all I enjoyed spending a quiet evening out with my sweet husband. That man is adorable. No matter where you put him. He just can’t help it.
I topped off my evening with a little reflective reading from several years back. During my senior year of high school my English teacher Mrs. Schroyer made us keep a weekly journal about our year called our “Senior Record”. I still have mine and the comments that she made in it on microscopically small yellow post-it notes. Last night I re-read it, I guess mainly to give myself a little progress check. When you are 32 you can get carried away with yourself. You can maybe forget some of the things you valued when you were young and idealistic. I was pleased to discover that I am not so different from that idealistic 17 year old sitting in senior English. In fact, I’ve retained most of the optimism and let go of a lot of the worry about the future that I had back then. I graduated high school. I graduated college. I got a master’s degree. I found a ridiculously cute Arkansas boy to share my dreams with. I filled the past decade with adventure, travel, and service. I turned out alright. The seventeen year old me was nervous that it might go either way. She was heavily influenced by the public service announcements of the early nineties. To wrap up my birthday realizing that I did not disappoint my seventeen year old self was a special treat. I did that kid a solid, if I do say so myself.