Starting when I was 12, every year when I blew out the candles on my birthday cake, I wished I would fall in love that next year. I know, UGH, so cheesy. But it's the truth. Starting from a very young age, I didn't want toys, I wanted boys. More specifically, I wanted boy - I wanted to meet the person I was going to marry. For me, nothing in life was more exciting than the thought of finding your one true love.
I've had a lot of great birthdays. Being born the day after Thanksgiving makes that easy. My eighteenth birthday was a bit of a bump in the road - my high school football team was eliminated from state playoffs the day I turned 18, which meant I spent a large portion of the day being surrounded by almost my entire community, the vast majority of whom were crying about our crushed state championship dreams (it was a rough day). Other than that, though, I've gotten to spend every single birthday surrounded by family and friends, eating good food and giving thanks for all the wonderful pieces of my life.
If I had to pick a favorite birthday, I think I would choose my twentieth. When I turned 20 five months after my husband and I re-met, he surprised me by coming down to Houston a night early. I don't think I've ever been that shocked or ecstatically happy in my entire life. When the clock struck midnight on my 20th birthday, he tossed me in a school fountain with some of my friends at school (a Rice tradition) and gave me the beautiful pearl earrings that I wear each and every day. I've spent every birthday since then with him by my side.
My husband really outdid himself this time around. The fact that my birthday is today, the Monday before Thanksgiving, allowed for an entire weekend of celebrations. We spent Friday night eating pizza and watching Scandal, Saturday morning eating brunch at Radish, a restaurant we'd been trying to go to forever, Saturday night at a surprise dinner that my husband threw for me that almost all of our friends attended, and Sunday morning at another delicious brunch. And the party isn't over. We still have dinner tonight, not to mention a four-day weekend spent in Texas that will include celebrations with both of our families.
While I loved every minute of my celebrations, I think my absolute favorite bit will be waking up in bed next to my husband tomorrow morning, fully 25 and still living this same, wonderful life. I love that we can celebrate the special occasions, but love it even more that every run-of-the-mill morning feels more special, more complete, with him there.
To be honest, I'm not sure what the take-home point of this little essay is. It bears mentioning that in all actuality, when I blew out my candles on my thirteenth birthday cake, my wish had already been granted. I've known my husband since I was nine. I'm not sure if I find that point incredibly tragic or incredibly romantic - sometimes it hurts my heart that we were a long-term missed connection, and sometimes I accept the fact that it couldn't have happened any other way. I have to say, though - the tinge of sadness, that longing for love that I felt on all of my birthdays before I turned 20, was more than made up for when on my 20th birthday I went to blow out my candles and realized that my recurring wish had been granted. No pain, no gain. Here's to many more happy birthdays.