Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Joy Cometh in the Morning, Blast It

In honor of my birthday tomorrow, I waddled down to the DMV to renew my driver's license. I could have sent in the form a month ago after having had an eye test, but I lost the eye test form and forgot about the date and completely mucked it up. So it occured to me that going in person Before the day it expired might be a good thing, which I did.

I found an out of the way little known DMV in a tiny room of a large city office building inhabited by one extremely competent DMV person and a short line of people. I lumbered in and stood in line for a second and then sat in one of the two available chairs.

A nice friendly gentleman asked me when I was due.
'Mid October' I said.
'You're first?'
'No, this will be my fourth'
He staggered backwards. 'You have more courage than me' he said.
Then another large pregnant woman came in (such a lot of pregnant ladies for such a small space) who there upon made me feel like a wimp by standing while I sat.
Anyway, when it was my turn in line, it took me a total of THREE Minutes to renew my licence! Amazing. I got away in 25 after having paid 2 hours for parking because I figured it would take that long. Happy Birthday to Me!

Which brings me to my first deep Blog reflection about having a birthday. I know, we all have them. For Matt, his birthday is the best day of the year, aside from Christmas. Apparently, in his youth, he ate ice cream all day and opened presents and was perfectly happy (this is his own account of the past). I have never been able to live up to this kind of happiness.

My birthday was always and consistently the day I had to report back to boarding school. Even if I didn't make it back to school on that exact day, it was always within the week, looming like a black depressing cloud over the whole business of getting older. As time went by, I became antagonistic towards the day of my birth and felt that it was the one day, sent by God, to teach me that life is a veil of tears and all flesh is grass and we are but dust and to dust we shall return.

Later, in college, I tried to reclaim a sense of joy about being alive and getting older by celebrating my birthday for the whole month of August, so that the one day wouldn't be the focus of any attention, happy or unhappy.

This practice, however, of celebrating myself for several weeks rather than being distraught for one day, runs contrary to every fiber of the Kennedy being. Matt, his mother, probably all of his sister and his cousins and his aunts, expect that one's birthday is a cause for joy and happiness.

Matt, just now, leaning over, inquired what I would like for breakfast on my birthday. Well, according to my sin nature, I ought to eat oatmeal and then work really hard for the up building of the kingdom. I refuse to get all expectant and happy, no matter what.

However, reviewing the situation from afar, objectively, as it were. I do have every cause to celebrate. I've done an awful lot in a relatively short time. I'm about to have my fourth child. I have two degrees. I am happily married. I have a interesting and rewarding job in the church. I know how to cook and bake. I'm not sick. I have too much stuff. I have lots of family and friends. And, apparently, I'll be having a nice breakfast in the morning. Oh, and my roses are still blooming. And my mother is coming in two weeks. And my cat has forgiven me for going away. And I don't have to share a computer with Matt. Wow, the blessings are wildly abundant.
Anyone want to guess how old I'm going to be?


Christie said...

Happy Birthday my Virtual Friend.

Age 29?

Christie said...

Oh, I forgot to tell you. I have been Altar 1 and 2 at St. James for our 11:00 service. (Only 1 school 3-12years). It's a little challenging, but they eat up the catechesis style of teaching. I ache for my old atrium, but....I take what God gives me and work with what I have.

Again, have a great birthday.

Matt's Mom said...

Okay, I admit, I am responsible for Matt's giddiness over his birthday, but it's not my fault because I come from a long line of "celebrators", and even at 60 look forward to MY most important day of the year except Christmas, and Matt's dad still sweetly indulges me!! Anne, I find your birthday a wonderful celebration because God brought you into our family as an answer to Matt's prayers, so do celebrate:I will! We love you and Happy Brthday!

Carrie said...

You forgot to mention that you have friends that you didn't have to seek out in questionable places!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday from another end-of-August-have-to-go-back-to-school person!

Judith L said...

Happy Birthday from another August baby, although earlier in the month.