Today is my 37th birthday. It is also my cousin's 30th birthday. She is living the life that I (okay, that we all) dreamed we'd have: living in the big city, editor of a magazine that sends her and her husband to exotic romantic locations around the world, and renovating an historic home with a rooftop view. On my 30th birthday, I was working at a cool Silicon Valley startup and was dating my future husband. We went wine tasting with some friends in Napa, had dinner at French Laundry and went on a hot air balloon ride the next morning. It was a perfect birthday, and after losing my brother just a year earlier, it felt like a true new beginning.
But this year is hard. It isn't that I'm upset about getting older, or that it is a mere downhill slide toward forty. It's just that my life is not at all what I had thought it would be right now. The picture in my head of how things are supposed to be is not at all how things are. I never expected to be a stay at home mom for this long. And I never expected to have a child with autism.
It was pouring rain this morning which added a bit to my melancholy. But conveniently, as I write this, the sun is coming out. My parents sent orchids (clearly, still recovering from their recent trip to Hawaii). My BFF came over with homemade bagels (homemade!!), and cardamom bread (also homemade), and not one, but two kind of (yes, homemade) fudge. I'm not saying that this is going to be the best birthday ever, but if nothing else, at least I can eat myself into a carb and sugar induced stupor. It helps. Don't let anyone tell you it doesn't.