Tomorrow is my husband's birthday. And the reality is, I do not have a gift for him. Hell, I don't even have a card!
The first birthday of his that we spent together, I surprised him with a trip to Paris - full of candlelit dinners, hotel turn down service, and strolls down the most romantic streets in the world. Talk about falling from grace. Is this what happens when we have children? Specifically, is this what happens when your husband and your child share a birthday week? How are we supposed to do it all?
I want to be the wife who sneaks out of bed tomorrow morning without waking anyone to quietly whip up a special birthday breakfast for him on a gorgeous "breakfast in bed" tray, wearing some slinky little number that I purchased pre-baby with a perfectly wrapped gift in hand. But sadly, I know that in reality I can't "whip up" something without disturbing everyone with my chaotic cooking methods. I know that we do not own a gorgeous "breakfast in bed" tray. And let's face it, any sexy negligee purchased pre-Olive looks ridiculous with my post-Olive nursing boobs. Oh, and we have already determined that I do not have a gift.
How did I let this happen? How did I neglect the one person that I love more than anything? Using motherhood as an answer seems like such a cop out. I mean - would we (as mothers) ever let fatherhood be an excuse for missing our birthdays? That was rhetorical. Obviously, the answer is NO!
The thing is...pre-Olive, thoughtful gifts were sort of my "thing": a first edition of Ludwig Bemelman's Book: I Love You. I Love You. I Love You. with a custom illustration and autograph inscribed (sentimental as we met at the Carlyle in Bemelmans' Bar), a vintage Patek Phillipe from the year he was born, and a Gatsby themed surprise party with our dearest friends at Daniel Boulud's restaurant in Beijing. Post-Olive...it's looking like leftover cake from her birthday party and a bottle of pretty average red wine (seeing as I didn't pre-order anything special and we live in the middle of nowhere.)
But you want to know what the real "real" is? I married a man who will not hold this shortcoming against me. He is so steady and so kind. I know in my heart that he understands the pressures and commitments we are facing right now and that he doesn't expect anything but love and kisses. Yet somehow, this makes me feel even worse. I am so lucky to be loved by him. And, if I could be certain that he felt half as loved as he makes me feel, then I would know that I am doing A-okay.
Brett, I am asking for a birthday re-do! Please let me make this up to you. And in the meantime...can you please look through these pictures of birthdays past and give me a pass for this year?
I love you, Brett. Happy Birthday LOML!
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