It's funny how our idea of what makes a great birthday present evolves over the years. As soon as we were old enough to begin wanting things, we sat with the JC Penney catalog or the double-phone-book-sized Sears catalog, pen in hand, and circled things - even things we hadn't wanted before gazing upon them in the colored pages of those books. Somehow everything looked more desirable with the prospect of actually getting them looming ahead.
As we grew older, birthdays meant fun times. Themed parties. Group trips to places like Chuck E Cheese or Great America or Shakey's. Slumber Parties. Slumber parties where somehow - and who knows how - it got leaked that there were a pile of pajama'd grrls gathered in a tent in a cornfield and boys showed up.
Later birthday celebrations meant pizza joints, dances in the round barn, movie nights where no movies were actually watched. (Sorry Mom.)
And later yet, bars and pubs. And house parties.
And if you're lucky enough to have a birthday on St. Patrick's Day, like me, there is no shortage of partiers and revelers to join you in your celebration. I have dozens and dozens of pictures taken over the years of me with who-knows-who, people who were more than willing to down a green beer, tip their cap, and jump into the fray of my birthday celebration. It all seemed like a good idea at the time.
These days, life is simpler. Quieter. And quite a bit more sober. And I'm happy as a pig in mud.
My first birthday gift of the day - well, besides Rob's sweet 'Happy Birthday' nuzzle first thing - was Brady picking up the house. And my second was Jonathan's invitation to do yoga.
As kids we don't necessarily get the whole "I don't need a present" thing. We roll our eyes when our parents say things like, "All I want is to spend time with you."
But then we grow up. And it's true. Just like all those other things our parents warned us about such as "you don't just marry the boy, you marry the family" (from Dad) and "sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do" (from Mom).
I couldn't think of a better way to spend my birthday morning than doing yoga with my two favorite kids in the whole wide world.
When I suggested taking a photo, Jonathan eagerly obliged and showed off his backbend.
Incidentally, when we did three backbends in a row using Rodney Yee's video, we could barely do them. We were laughing too hard as Brady moaned, "Oh my Gah! I'm dying! I can't do this! Oh my Gah!" over and over.
Here we were still laughing as I tried to get into a half-moon pose without tipping over in time for the camera to flash...
And now we're off for Birthday Gift Part II.
A few moments ago I had a sudden craving and yelled, "Let's go get french fries!"