Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Hard to Celebrate on Your Own

Happy Non-Biological Father of Jesus Day!

I have a partially eaten Zeppole on my counter that I bought so Bella could see what they were. Because I feel it's important to know your pastry-fried-in-lard stuffed with sweetened marscapone and ricotta with chocolate chips and topped with a cherry -- jeez, wouldn't want to mix that up with your carrot sticks, am I right?

:::

Today my grandmother moved from her rehab center (she had a stroke about three weeks ago) into her new assisted living place. I hesitate to call anything that nicely decorated and well lit and cheerful and friendly and spacious a "Nursing Home," which I kinda reserve for creepy quiet places where screams rise from the basement and the occasional bat flies by. She was pleased and quite surprised to discover her furniture in her new suite ("This is MINE! This is MY CHAIR!"), and tonight will sleep in her bed for the first time in almost a month. She is obviously a bit nervous, but I think in other areas, genuinely relieved. "No more cooking!" she said beaming, after finishing every scrap of her lunch in their restaurant-like dining area. She asked a few times what the name of the place was, and kevetched about having to use her walker again (she's been in bed or wheeled for a month now), but was in good spirits. And she remembered me.

And she remembered it was my birthday.

:::

I'm downplaying today with a force of a thousand suns. I've forbidden any cheer or notice or celebration EXCEPT that which emanates from Bella. I may believe in being truthful with her about a lot of things, but I really do honestly think she's too young to learn that birthdays can suck. In her world, Birthdays rate right up there with Christmas if not higher because there's cake and you get to pick the food. So I grin sheepishly every time she tells someone with gusto, "TODAY IS MY MOM'S BIRTHDAY!" as if I won the lottery -- and she did this, this morning, to everyone at her school.

Holidays and anniversaries and such are just a bit sour after Maddy, but my birthday -- this birthday especially -- is different. Unlike a day that just kinda has a dull edge to it that you know you'll revisit again in 12 months time, this birthday is like slamming a door shut. I don't get this one back, it doesn't get "better." I just get farther away from a dream and person I thought I was when I started the decade. I feel like I'm losing a grip on me -- my multi-faceted identity that I've always been so proud of. If one part started failing, there was always something else. And now I feel a bit as if I'm trying to hold sand in my palms and it's just blowing away.

Anyway.

Niobe once posted a link to The News From Your Bed by Bishop Allen, and it's become my life's soundtrack. (In fact, the last verse starting "When your family calls you make nice to them all" is my ringtone.) And today it's bouncing off my inner walls. I'm not splitting town with the husband, leaving the kids at the 'rents for a weekend of hedonism. I'm not going to Vegas with the girls. I'm hunkering down at my counter with a piece of Ganached Guinness Goodness lovingly prepared for me by Mr. ABF and Bella (who calls it "Beer Cake"). And wishing I was somewhere, someone, somehow, else.

31 comments:

Michele said...

I wont say Happy Birthday because I know it's not happy. I hated mine last year and this year I am not expecting it to be a winner either. It's hard... So hard...

We can wish St. Joseph a happy birthday instead.

Tash said...

Michele, if you saw the remnants of the Zeppole, you'd know I'm down with that.

Mrs. Spit said...

Hmm. If you won't celebrate, I shall use this day as an opportunity to have another slice of cake, you know, to celebrate on your behalf. . . .

G$ said...

See, Mrs Spit is onto something there. No happy F'ing bday from me, but I may have to find some cake to quietly celebrate you being in the world.

3/4 mom said...

That's funny. It's my birthday today, too. Hubby is cooking dinner for me right now (which is why I'm on the computer at 6pm) while the kids attempt to make a cake. This should be good.

That also explains why all posts/comments I wrote last night had a slight tinge of alcohol-induced sloppiness...

Hope's Mama said...

I wont use the sappy "h" word either, but I do very much hope you enjoy the day, Tash. You deserve cake, at the very least. I'm thinking those evil looking cup cakes you posted a link to a while back. Did they have two forms of alcohol in them, or am I going nuts? Anyway, thinking of you!

loribeth said...

You may wish you were someone else, but I think you are fab just the way you are. : ) I wish you a whole pile of beer cakes & zeppole, & hugs from Bella & Mr. ABF. Along with some from me. (((HUGS)))

luna said...

I hope you enjoy some bella-celebration then. I know it's a big one. and it's been a tough one. so I'm raising a toast and to looking ahead, instead of back.

my big'un is in exactly 2 months. I'll probably be drunk and hiding under the bed eating something excessive. so the fact that you're out and functioning speaks volumes.

cheers to you.

Antigone said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

so sorry. i had to get that out of my system. i'm a little hyper over having an excuse to make red velvet cake tonight.

sweetsalty kate said...

You're so treasured tash. Here's to beer in your cake and may the wind at your back always be your own. heh.
xo

Aunt Becky said...

I am making cupcakes in your honor. Not because it's your birthday, but because I'm that kind of friend. You know, the one that makes cupcakes for you and then eats them all?

Yeah. That kind.

Two Hands said...

I'm with Mrs. Spit. I won't wish you HB but I will eat cake.
And that's lovely news about your Grandmother.

janis said...

heck, I have that cake tagged for "to make someday" and you get to eat it. I am sure it's freakin' good.

funny you wrote about that, but lately I have been looking at myself in the mirror and not liking what I see. I don't want to say "hate" but some days I actually feel that sentiment. and I've been thinking a lot about WHO the hell I am.

thinking of you, Tash.

Beautiful Mess said...

Nothing snarky or profound to say.
So, I'll just send ya a hug and peace.

niobe said...

Heh. The line from that song that echos in my head is who do you need? nobody. you're lucky nobody's around.

And, credit where credit is due, the the only reason I ever heard of that song was because of S of Rhymes With Javelin and/or Phantom of Phantom Scribbler.

Note how I cleverly avoided saying anything about you-know-what.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Perhaps there is a different word that could go in front of birthday? Peaceful birthday! No... I think you know the sentiment I mean, but it defies words. Just know that I'm holding you in my heart as you turn another year.

Life in Eden said...

"I just get farther away from a dream and person I thought I was when I started the decade. I feel like I'm losing a grip on me -- my multi-faceted identity that I've always been so proud of." -- oh Tash, I so understand this. As I get older I feel like I am so much farther from where I thought I would be. All I can say is I'm trying to embrace this new future and hope it holds something special down the road.

Eat cake, drink, have a bubble bath. Anything to make the day nice. I'll be toasting you tonight. :)

Emily said...

Thinking of you on this day...

LFCA

Amy said...

As always, I am a day late but I'm not a dollar short. In fact, I'm heading to the store to fix my own dinner in your honor...it's not a celebratory dinner by any means...it is going to be my "I effing hate getting older" dinner, in which I will think of you. Yes, birthdays can suck...they have for a while now in my life and not only the loss of William but you see, my day is 9/11...yep, really, what's to celebrate there?! I get it, totally get it! Thinking of you!

Betty M said...

Sending greetings and will eat a slice of cake for you.

Anonymous said...

The 18th was my birthday, and without a doubt my very worst ever. I spent the night driving around town alone, because I just didn't feel up to celebrating either.

Just another reminder of the fact that time keeps on moving and my daughter still isn't here. I thought my life would be so different by now.

All that to say, I can relate and I'm so sorry. It's your day. Do what you need to do.

-Kaye

Parenthood For Me said...

Beer cake is beautiful. I don't know what else to do say but I'm sorry you feel so down. But your birthday is the supreme celebration of your existence and I bet your hubby and Bella think it's a marvelous day.

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

Uggghh. I know. My most recent birthday was really hard. It really caught me off guard. I never expected MY birthday to be hard. But, it was. Enjoy your beer cake!
Peace.

mlg- believe-n-miracles said...

Here is to another year, right?

c. said...

I'm with Loribeth and the you being fab part.

Un-happy Belated Birthday to you, Tash. XO.

k@lakly said...

I'm pulling up a chair with G$ and celebrating YOU being here. And I'll even have some cake with my drink, so there:)
I<3U Tash. I hope this new decade is kinder to you. Much, much, kinder.

Bon said...

i'm late, i didn't know there was a St. Joseph day let alone that you shared it, an i'd never heard of a Zeppole it.

can i both covet the Zeppole and feel you on the wish to be other and elsewhere at the same time?

this decade has gone by hard for you, i know. i do hope the coming one is far kinder.

charmedgirl said...

are you sure those are zeppoles and not cannolis? damn, i miss those festivals.

when i got to the part about the door shutting, it made me cry about the sheer truth of it. personally, i don't mind getting older...but we all know what huge bank vault door is creaking closed with every year...and in some cases, leaving things unfinished. my age surely had much to do with my final decision to end the torture.

unfortunately for me, stuffing my face with that cake WOULD make me somehow else...if only for a little while. i hope it was delicious.

well, it's over now, but i hope it wasn't too bad. i'm really thankful for you.

Kymberli said...

I'm late to the non-party. But those drinks I had too many of last night? At least a few were belated toasts to you. I had a slice of Cinnabon apple pie, too. Wish you could have been here to clink glasses with us and watch me fall on the floor.

Which Box said...

Well, hell. It's a week and a half later, so I can say it now, right? Or maybe not.

CLC said...

Sorry I am late to this. I won't wish you happy anything, but I do hope you enjoyed your beer cake.