Scenes from a Birthday

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IMG_0116In what has now become an annual tradition, I spent the weekend of my birthday alone. It was heavenly. I went downtown to spend a night in a hotel and to do some things in DC that I don’t normally have the time to do. Saturday I spent time browsing in a new-to-me independently owned bookstore nearby. I went to two museums (National Geographic Society and National Museum of Women in the Arts) and saw exhibits on women photographers and quilts. Both were wonderful. I was able to sit and listen to fairly long videos in both exhibits without feeling hurried. I took a ridiculously large stack of books with me to read. (Some not pictured above.) I took two (!!) hot baths and painted my toenails. (On a side note, I’ll just say it’s unbelievably hard to take a normal appearing photo of your own feet. I took about six photos before I decided I was being silly. But I still feel compelled to mention that I don’t think my feet look that weird in real life.)  I ate room service for dinner AND breakfast. I slept in a huge king sized bed with 5000 soft fluffy pillows.

The first year I did this I wrote the following:

At some point in the day I thought about all the things I could have done with my 24 hours. Go to a play. Write on my blog. Go to one of the many other museums in our city. Go for a swim or a hike. Go out to lunch with friends. Read and read some more. There are a lot of things I don’t get to do a lot or as much as I want that I could think of to fill the gift of time. I also thought about what I’d do if I knew somehow that it was my last 24 hours. Those things would be very different. I’d snuggle my kids. I’d read to them. I’d make them laugh as much as I could just to hear the sound. I’d listen to H. tell me about his day. I’d tell them all how much I love them. And I’d read some. I was struck that the things I’d do if it was my last 24 hours are what I do every day.

That’s still true. I came home Sunday to an empty house. Which was also heavenly in its own way, I like the chance to be alone at home too. I did school prep for the week and was lying on the bed reading when the door to the house flew open, I heard “MOMMY!” and three kids came running down the hall to tackle me. I heard about their weekend adventures and we snuggled. We read books together.

As much as the weekend alone was wonderful, what made it even more wonderful was knowing who was waiting for me at home.



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