Today was my thirtieth birthday, and it was a happy birthday, indeed. (And, thank you, everyone for the birthday well-wishes. I felt truly blessed!). Kevin took me out to my favourite restaurant, which happens to serve a wonderful non-alcoholic beer. And Colin presented me with a birthday card and flowers that he picked all all by himself ... after his daddy walked him over to the grocery store--a very big adventure for such a little boy.
All in all, it was a simple--and simply wonderful--birthday.
I know that's not the birthday most 30-year-old women have in mind. I think the standard thing is a wild night on the town with one's girlfriends, maybe a trip to Vegas or New York. And don't get me wrong, that all sounds wonderful, but I'm just not at a stage in my life right now where that is possible. (Maybe 35, girls? Or 40 at least ... )
I suppose such elaborate thirtieth-birthday celebrations are the norm because 30 is supposedly a "big" birthday for a woman: she's no longer some nubile young thing but a mature woman, perhaps a little past her prime. (Although why this should be true in the 21st century--when we all enjoy an extra decade of adolescence--beats me.) And for a lot of people, one's thirtieth birthday forces them to take stock of what they've done with their lives, so a whirlwind party can be a way to avoid such reflection or else a consolation if they are forced to confront things and find the balance wanting.
This may sound smug, but I only mean to express my gratitude: When I consider 20s, I am completely content with how they played out. I graduated from college, started a satisfying career, enjoyed some freewheeling years in a great city, lived abroad, married the man I love, and had a beautiful child (almost two of them!). I might not have done everything I wanted to do, but I did most of it, and I had a great time doing it. If my 30s are half as as much fun, I will be very lucky, indeed.
As a synchronistic end to my lovely birthday, Kevin took the above photo of me just before we headed out for my celebratory dinner. It happens to look very much like a photo he took of me on my 26th birthday, when we were vacationing in the south of France. Other than the fact that I am wearing the same damn blouse in both photos, I don't find the comparison too unflattering. Sure, Edmonton doesn't quite compare with France, and, yes, I currently weigh about 40 pounds more than I did then, but those things are just temporary, right? I hope that by my 32nd birthday I'll have lost the baby weight and we will again be traveling abroad without children. And I sincerely hope that by then I've bought some new clothes!