July 4th weekend has always been special to me. In addition to the all important birthday of America, another quite important birthday takes place over the weekend, MINE!! I’m a July 2nd baby who has fully taken advantage of the proximity to a holiday weekend for celebrating that fact. Unlike Christmas babies, who we all know get less gifts with their birthdays being around a holiday, I never had to worry about less presents since July 4 is not a giving holiday. The only disadvantage I ever faced with my birth date was the fact that my mom insisted on buying me an American flag cake every year. Instinct tells me they must have been on sale but according to her she just thought it was “fitting.”
I’m one of those people who likes to make a really big deal out of birthdays. I fully want to be spoiled and in return fully spoil those I love on their special days. Before having kids this meant long weekend camping trips with all of our friends or big extravagant parties with live music, keg stands and a few too many shots to celebrate.
Since having kids, things have gotten a little less exciting. Because our first child was born a month before my birthday, that years big day consisted of a post partum hysterical crying session over a take-out pizza while I repeated over and over, “why did we do this?” The following two birthdays, though better, were far from the good times pre-kid birthdays brought. I believe my birthday request for both was to please have at least two hours to myself.
The most exciting of my pre-kid birthdays was the one that actually led to their future arrivals. After living together for quite a while and realizing I was quickly approaching my 30th birthday, I gave my then boyfriend an ultimatum, “I want to be engaged by the time I’m 30 or I think we need to split.” I explained that I was ready to settle down, wanted to start thinking about kids, and that I hoped he was on the same page, especially since he was five years older than me. Keep in mind, at this time my husband was a total ski bum, bouncing around from job to job just to get by. Marriage and children were far from the top of his mind.
Days, weeks and months passed by and no shiny objects appeared on my finger. As July approached I began planning my birthday weekend camping trip. On July 1st, one day prior to my 30th birthday we set up camp and the two of us went out for a hike. Sure enough, in true slacker fashion, less than 12 hours from my ultimatum deadline, in the middle of a hike with a beautiful Rocky Mountain backdrop, the ring appeared. Nothing like waiting for the last minute! That was exactly six years ago today. One wedding and two kids later it’s still my favorite birthday memory.
This year’s birthday will be spent trying to sneak in my two free hours for a pedicure or bike ride on my own. No big parties, no camping trips due to an infant ear infection, but still just as happy a birthday as I’ve ever had because all of my wishes have already come true!