On the heels of putting sweet Syd to sleep, my husband surprised me with a birthday party. Not what most would expect for their 39th birthday. He had help from several of my friends but nonetheless it was quite an undertaking and it was fun to hear the details of how he pulled it off.
Like, the invitations went out by email (and if you are a friend who doesn't "do" or have email then you didn't get invited) and since we share a home email account, he had to cut and paste all the addresses and send them to work. He also arranged for me to have the day off and the night away the day before my birthday so my friends, J and S, could prepare the party. Unfortunately, after putting Syd to sleep, I didn't want my time away; I wanted to be with my family and mourn. But I did agree to leave the house at 6:30 p.m., so DH made the secret calls to keep my friends informed.
We arrived at one of my favorite restaurants at 8:00 pm. We were both terribly hungry- it was WAY past our dinner time, closer to our bedtime. DH left me at the bar to hit the bathroom. Gone for quite some time, I had plenty of time to chat with the bartender. I asked for a birthday drink - his choice. He obliged with an apple martini,and proceeded to seek his tip and flatter me with "You don't look 39". Since DH still hadn't returned he added, "I hope you have someone to celebrate with you". Well yeah, I DID but he apparently needed to primp in the bathroom. Finally, he appeared but my tongue warm with martini, didn't question his time. Later I found out that he was making futile phone calls back to the house, checking the party progress. No one would answer; they feared it would be me.
We spent the night away at this beautiful Victorian bed and breakfast in town. The decor was fantastic but the bed we slept in was AWFUL. Granted, we both had difficulty sleeping since we were emotionally spent after putting Syd to sleep. BUT, every time DH moved, the bed rocked and creaked. Maybe the mattress was from the Victorian era too. Maybe that's supposed to be part of the charm. I wasn't charmed. I looked in the guest book to see if anyone else had the same trouble. Nothing but accolades, however, no one commented that they slept like a baby.
I caught a whiff of this surprise earlier in the week, so I called my friend, J, and asked her. She hesitated. "I just want to know if I need to clean my house", I said. Without hesitation, she said "No". So, I figured that the surprise would be at J's house, as she is famous for hosting parties.
We headed home at 11:00 am, as DH said the babysitter had to get home. We arrived to our boys in the front yard with two of our friends, theirs the only car visible on our street. We knew they were coming to pick up our oldest for a playdate, so their presence reinforced that things were status quo; the surprise must be later. We parked in the garage, hiked up the basement stairs and I heard a suspicious hushed buzz as I topped the stairs, heading to my room to unload my arms of my tangled belongings. When I came back down the hall, there they all were - my friends, yelling "Surprise", crammed like sardines in the dining room. The next few minutes were a blur. I do remember everyone singing "Happy Birthday" as my oldest tried to play along on the piano; MC, my youngest's friend, dancing wildly around me; my tallest friends, tennis buddy K and her taller boyfriend, and T & G, from the old neighborhood. Once the crowd dispersed, I began see my (shorter) friends emerge. The crowd mostly belonged to one of three different contingencies; old neighborhood, new neighborhood, and tennis. There were a few friends there from our former church, a family we know from elementary school, my real estate agent turned friend, one of DH's work friends. What a great feeling to have all those gathered to help me celebrate.
I think DH did an amazing job of employing my friends and pulling the whole thing off. I've had a difficult time this summer. I'm restless, as I have said, and he feels it. I think this party was his way of acknowledging this, trying to draw me out of my funk. It's a Venus/Mars thing. He's trying to "fix" it. It does feel good to be so loved and it has helped, at least temporarily, but as I told him last week when he asked me what he could do to make me happy, "it's not your job to make me happy, I've got to figure this out". Unfortunately, it means he has to endure my distance.