Ben and I got married the day before my twenty-first birthday. It was the year of the cicadas, and whenever you stepped outside, there was steady, deafening chirping. Cicadas lined the trees and ground. The wedding was beautiful and simple and full of people we loved. I think if I were a more prissy bride I might have been horrified by all of those insects, but as it was I thought it was fine: biblical and profound, it appealed for my youthful love of the dramatic.
I turned twenty-one the next day, on the first day of our honeymoon. Our wedding and then my birthday. Every year since, we have this wonderful, festive week in May. Our wedding anniversary, my birthday (soon after mother's day). It blends perfectly, and I love the fact that it is all one wonderful celebration of life and joy, and as we look at the three little children that have surrounded us in our years of marriage, new life too.
Yesterday was our anniversary, but we sort of celebrated my birthday. First I snuck out for a little afternoon date with my dear friend Michelle, and then came home to a special made-by-Ben birthday dinner including a delicious amaretto cake for dessert. I actually have somehow convinced Ben to make three separate cakes for my birthday, one for each decade of my life. So this was the first of many, I suppose.
And today, on my birthday, we are going out for an anniversary dinner together, but I enjoyed a lovely birthday picnic with my sister Irene, Hugo and Lily. Sandwiches from one of the best sandwich places around, followed by a quick dip in the fountains. Have I ever mentioned that our Lily has a lot of joy? Just look at that girl. Sweet Hugo was quite entertained to watch from a healthy distance, just once walking over and cautiously placing a toe over the spout of a fountain. I think he later regretted it.
There isn't a day that passes that I don't give thanks for every bit of this. I am surrounded by such love and joy, and that is the ultimate gift.