29 For the First Time

So I’m turning 29, which means I only have only 11 years left to worry about getting my first colonoscopy, hopefully. I’m sure tomorrow will be just another day, but I had an awesome weekend of birthday pre-gaming. Though it started badly, like so:

We had seven people over for dinner and in the middle of munching tacos I remembered something I’d been meaning to ask Neil. Now anyone normal would save this for later, but I’d been forgetting all week, and we had people over three out of the last four dinners, so I just went for it.

The setting: epic taco night.
The setting: epic taco night.

“What’s that bike doing in your car?” After several times of driving the Focus I realized that the bike in the back wasn’t neon yellow-green, and therefore was not his.

“Oh, that’s just a little project I’m working on,” he said with an obvious look.

“Oh, is that my birthday present?” I am so brilliant. “I don’t want a bike for my birthday.” Okay, not so brilliant.

Neil indicated we needed to cut off the conversation, and I shoved some chips in my mouth along with my foot. Who says they don’t want their birthday present in front of a group of people? A two-year-old? Big mistake. I kind of don’t want your hobby for my birthday, I thought, but we had already talked about how I need a bike so we can bike as a family. And I hadn’t given him any good ideas, except new jeans, which I went ahead and bought myself when I found some on clearance. So just put me down as a spoiled brat.

Mostly I’m afraid to ride a bike on the street because I never really did growing up, although I always wanted to. So here’s my chance. I decided I’d learn to love my new bike, and I already have, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

We love to snuggle.
We love to snuggle.

Friday, Neil lined up a babysitter (his mom) and took me to our favorite Indian restaurant. The service & naan have never been better, and we had a fun time chatting after all that bike tension. We also took a walk through the park and relaxed at a wine bar. The next day we took our first family bike ride, mainly on the bike & hike path. As Neil promised, riding a bike feels like freedom. The weather was beautiful & we stopped at a little pond with a deck and watched the ducks and a blue heron. We never would’ve found this peaceful spot a mile from our house in our car. Jane snored away in the bike trailer with her snotty little nose. Simon kept shutting the little gate “so animals won’t get in.” We hit the playground on the way back, and I stopped at a garage sale. Alone! I never go to garage sales because their car seats are such a hassle.

I have to be in a car seat for 7.75 more years!
I have to be in a car seat for 7.25 more years!

Sunday Neil (& Jane) let me sleep in. After breakfast I rushed to Target to buy a mom bathing suit top (i.e. tankini) before going to my family pool party. This was a very relaxing experience with two children in tow. Simon was detaching bikini straps & throwing them into the aisle, yelling “Pinetoins!” (don’t ask) & sneaking behind the mirror in the corner to some forbidden nook, and trying to push Jane around in the stroller at breakneck speed. But at 29 and with two kids, it was time to stop rocking the hand-me-down string bikini top. It’s also a little dangerous while swimming with a nursing baby, if you know what I mean. The weather was perfect and some of our friends made it down as well. My grandma had lots of food for us and a birthday cake, and my family acted normal. Everyone was helping with the kids and I didn’t have to cook anything! So I felt very loved by everyone, and especially Neil.

FYI I’m actually planning to turn 30 instead of 29 again next year. I love the poem “Rabbi Ben Ezra” by Robert Browning, which begins:

Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made:

Our times are in His hand

Who saith “A whole I planned,

Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”

We’ll see if I feel the same in 10 or 20 or 30 years. But the real question is, what should I get Neil for his birthday? Some vic-chic-lit? A Zumba DVD? Do I even have hobbies other than keeping people alive right now? I can’t remember.

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