Today was my wife’s 50th birthday, and she hasn’t been looking forward to it. It turns out, she told me, that today was one of the best birthdays she has ever had. She had coffee with one friend and lunch with another, and all day she has had phone calls and texts from family and friends wishing her well.
We didn’t do too much–but the kids and I did want to make the day a little special. So I brought home some flowers, and some sparkling grape juice, and we had a meal as a family–with tiramisu for dessert. My youngest sang a song for her mother. It was sweet.
After dinner, I made a comment that on birthdays we usually give gifts, and the person celebrating the birthday says “Thank you.” But tonight, I told the kids, I wanted to do that backwards, and asked them to tell their mother what gifts they thought she gives to the family each and every day. I was impressed how well each of them could articulate their mother’s gifts and skills.
And of course I did the same as well. It was a simple, little gesture–but one that I think she truly appreciated. And there’s still a little box I have for her too. Nothing too fancy or expensive, but a small token to acknowledge this “special” birthday.
I’ve written before about my own difficulty in receiving gifts. Giving–that’s easier for me. But I guess what I experienced tonight is just how fuzzy that line can be between who is giving and who is receiving.
Every day we are constantly exchanging gifts with the people in our lives. It’s good to take the time to acknowledge all that we receive, and all that we give.