Happy Birthday to Me
Today is my birthday. (Well, technically yesterday, since it's after midnight... but I digress...)
I love birthdays. And not just because I can wear a "birthday princess" crown (which I totally put on this morning and then pretended to forget that I was still wearing it for the rest of the day -- "oh, silly me, is this still on?").
And not just because I can eat Carvel ice cream cake. (No birthday is complete without Carvel ice cream cake -- this is actually a tradition to the point of being a superstition with me. I am half convinced that I will not age if I don't eat the cake, which come to think of it may not be such a terrible thing... hmm...)
I love birthdays because it means lots of hugs and kisses and phone calls from the people that I love.
And I won't deny it: birthdays also mean presents. To be clear, it's not that I care about getting stuff. I don't. What I like is the thought behind a clever present. "It's the thought that counts" is not a cliche. Well, yes, it's a total cliche, but it's TRUE.
Awesome Gift #1
It started with a box.
Husband said, "Don't look in the box in the closet."
But I did open the closet door just to see what kind of box I wasn't looking in. (This was totally legit because looking "at" a box is not the same as looking "in" the box, right?) Well, I was looking at a BIG box. Way too big to hold a book. Way too big to be wrapped. He'd cleverly covered it with a bed sheet.
Predictably, this became all I could think about for the last two days, leading to many reenactments of the classic DUNE moment:
"What's in the box?"
I failed to guess what was in the box. Unicorn? No. Dragon? No. Griffin? No. Gryphon-spelled-fancy? No. But as it turns out, I was pretty close. It was a magical present.
This morning (my birthday morning), out came the box. Here's what it held:
And here, after a few hours of assembly that included (oddly enough) a sledgehammer, this is what it transformed into:
My very own wishing well! How perfect is that? For one thing... INTO THE WILD! For another... my husband knows how much I love to make wishes. During our vacation in Disney World, I made a point of visiting the wishing well next to Cinderella's castle just so I could make a few wishes at the well.
Anyway, we placed this wishing well next to our very own Wild (a completely overgrown hill), and I'm planning to plant lots of flowers all around it. Also, I'm planning to make lots of wishes. Already started, in fact.
First wish in the well: 100 unicorns.
Second wish in the well: enough food for 100 unicorns.
Third wish... can't tell you that or it might not come true. (I'm okay with jinxing the unicorn wish. I have no idea where I'd put a herd that size. Things are already crowded enough around here with all the gryphons.)
Awesome Gift #2
Okay, this next gift wasn't a birthday present. It was a thank-you present, but I'm going to tell you about it anyway because it was awesome (and the timing was close enough to pass for a birthday present)...
Last March, I did a virtual school visit to Randall Middle School in Lithia, Florida. It turned out to be one of my all-time favorite visits. When the video conference kicked in, I saw the best sight: 65+ kids all wearing golden crowns and waving magic wands at me.
All the kids had fantastic questions, and the hour flew by so fast that I think I made them late for their next class. I closed out the video conference thinking, "Wow, really cool."
I'd now like to amend that to say, "WOW, REALLY COOL!" Randall Middle School students (led by their fabulous media specialist Darlene Meginnis) deserve all caps. This week, a giant box arrived for me. In it was a T-shirt from their book club, three of my very own magic wands (which I promptly used to turn my husband into a frog -- don't worry; he got better), and a wonderful collage that included the cover art from Into the Wild, a picture of their library, and a poem written by one of the students. On the frame's matte, all the students had added notes in gold ink. I absolutely treasure it.
How awesome is that? So awesome. Thank you to Darlene and the students at RMS! You guys rock!