Saturday, in addition to being the birthmom panel day, was also the Mister’s birthday. I made ding-dongs in lieu of birthday cake, although you can bet that I stuck candles into one and sang; I made salsa and nachos; and then there were strawberries, hot fudge, and ice cream to finish the night. He had to work in the morning, but thereafter it was nonstop playoff hockey, goofy TV for a couple of hours, and then Mario Kart. He took a nice bath. He only heard from my family on Saturday, which was a bit of shadow over the day, but overall he seemed to enjoy the birthday very much. Happy thirty-one, dad-to-be!
Our families handle birthdays very differently—his family barely recognizes the day, even for kids, apparently, whereas for my family, birthdays are a Big Deal. The traditional family package includes the cake of your choice, presents, singing, birthday dinner of your choice, no chores for the day, getting the family to participate in activities of your choice (movies, board games, conversations that bore everyone else), and breakfast in bed. I’ve abandoned the breakfast in bed bit, since neither of us like it, but I have otherwise wholeheartedly endorsed the program. I made Mr. Book a cake back when we were first dating, because I was horrified to hear that he hadn’t had one in better than a decade; he was somewhat charmed, but confused. He has since gotten used to my ways—I just get so sad thinking that a person has no one to make a fuss on his or her birthday—but he’s still unused enough to cry a little while I sang “Happy Birthday,” holding a ding-dong, smiling at him.