Submitted by: Maya
It was my birthday yesterday. I don’t know about you but I still get that princess feeling when I wake up and realise that it’s MY day. I polish my mental tiara and walk out into the world, seeing the flowers looking a little brighter, the coffee smells a bit nuttier, the day is finer. I don’t ever remember it raining on my birthday.
For my last (married) birthday, my loving husband took me out for breakfast ~ ordered a muffin and dandelion tea for himself and glared at me when I ordered a soy cappucino. (They cost more than normal percolated coffee). I forgot about the cherry danish after seeing his face.
When we finished our feast, we walked to the cd store and he led me to the $5 bin and told me to pick one. I leafed through Herb Alpert and Kenny Rogers and Doris Day singing the classics and said no thank you.
When we got home he presented me with a beautiful new sewing machine, something I had wanted for years. I was elated… until he told me that he had bought it so that I could make the cushions for the eight couches that he had been contracted to build for a backpacker hostel. Eight couches, six cushions per couch, 48 cushions plus pillows ~ exotic and pattern specific fabrics ~ weeks worth of work. Happy Birthday to me.
Yesterday I rose and adjusted that invisible tiara that I try to wear every day. I padded to the kitchen and fixed my coffee and waited in the morning sun. One by one the messages came in from my children and my friends. My Alex came out, bright eyed and ready to prepare his specialty, yogurt with muesli and banana ~ and the momentum had begun.
I would so much rather be alone in my home, in my space, alone in my world ~ than alone in a marriage. I am so much happier to be a sole parent with my children than I was to be a sole parent in a marriage.
I don’t miss the $5 cds, the pretending to be grateful for the soy cappucino when I really wanted the cherry danish too. I don’t miss the glowering stares, the gifts with ulterior motives ~ I don’t miss wishing that it could be better.
Yesterday I treated myself to a haircut by my favourite hairdresser. I sent my Alex off on a camping trip and then met my Book Club girls for an extended lunch with champagne. Spoil yourself with some nice flowers, plants or other presents delivered.
My daughter called me four times from Sydney. My eldest son came over for the late afternoon and my youngest birth son took me out for dinner, accompanied by his brother and three of their friends who consider me to be their other mother.
I remember back to those 27 years with the ex, how he minimised my feelings of special every single year. How I would wake, adjust that mental tiara and then be let down by the one who was supposed to care. Do I miss that? Um, I don’t think so… Do I feel alone without a partner? No way.
Happy Birthday to me, for this space and time ~ my expectations have been met and my cup runneth over. Life has sweetened in the aftermath.