Appearances aside, I am not 45.

At just after midnight on my birthday, Eli, our four year old, started moaning. I walked into his room just as he vomited on his shirt, the carpet, and his bed. Then he threw up on the carpet a second time.

As Sally and I cleaned up the mess, I mentioned something about the vomit being Eli’s birthday present to his dad. Sally stopped scrubbing the carpet and looked at me.

“Oh, yeah, your birthday,” she said.

And then Slade woke up and cried, and then an hour later Eli got sick again, and then Slade awoke again, and then it was morning, and I was late for work, and it was raining and 43 degrees and blurry.

“Happy 45th, honey,” Sally told me as I got out of bed.

“I’m 25,” I replied.

“Sure you are,” she said and patted me on the head.

In my early 20’s, my birthday centered around food and booze. In my late 20’s, my birthdays became outdoor adventures. On my 30th birthday, Sally and I wrapped our canoe around a rock on the Rio Grande in a remote canyon just outside Big Bend National Park.

We had to abandon the boat and hike a couple of miles back up the canyon, soaking and cold and cut up from mesquite thorns. We finally slogged our way to pavement where we hitchhiked back to our truck. We’d been sleeping in the back of that truck, but that night we splurged on a motel room with hot water and flush toilets. It seemed decadent.

This year’s birthday wasn’t memorable like that. I didn’t stand on a table and make dumb observations about the world that I regretted the next day. And I didn’t wake up in Tuxpan in a tent on the beach.

But I had a good day anyway, even with the rain and the sick boy. When I returned from work, Sally cooked me street tacos, and I drank a fancy pants bottle of Chimay Blue, and I played Wii with Eli, who had already recovered, and I held Slade, who always wants to be held.

And then I shuffled off to bed full, content, and blurry to snore loudly in Sally’s ear.


3 Responses to “Appearances aside, I am not 45.”

  1. 1 D S Gardner March 14, 2009 at 7:13 am

    And when we turn 50, we’ll celebrate our birthdays with colonoscopies.

  2. 2 Manda March 14, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    TMI, Dave, T.M.I.

  3. 3 feeddunk March 15, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Now that sounds better than most. Something about family!

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