Speaking of 49, Billy isn't 49 anymore. He turns 50 today :) Happy Birthday Billy!
So, my birthday is coming, and though I'm honestly trying to pretend that it isn't, I know that no one else will, so I'm going to tell you all what I want for the momentous occasion of reaching the ripe old age of 34. Forgive me if most of them are things you can't deliver...
First, I want to skip the firework display uptown. I hate the traffic, I hate chasing kids around some parking lot I've never been to before. I hate worrying that one of them will disappear in the unfamiliar location. I hate having them beg, 100 times over, to please please please be allowed to sit on top of the van, which of course they can't do, because I worry about one of them falling off and cracking their skull on the the pavement, in the middle of some alien parking lot, and being unable to get them to the hospital amidst the throng of holiday firework watching traffic. Besides, I've seen damn near the exact same damn display one every other birthday ever.
I want to skip the cake, the candles, the singing, and the presents. All of that embarrasses me, and always has. There are no things that I want anyway.
I want to go out back after dark and stare at the full moon, the moon is more awe inspiring than any gaudy pyrotechnic cliche I can imagine. (Yes, I know it isn't going to be a full moon on the 4th.)
I want a warm-but-not-too-hot night, full of fireflies to chase, happy children that don't bicker, if only for a few hours, and a bonfire, over which we'll roast marshmallows, watch the kids play, and talk. Conversation is the most romantic gift...
After the children go to bed, I want to draw pictures in the night sky with sparklers. I love the way they linger and fade. I want to stare into the fire and watch the dying embers, and dream about whatever it is I see in them.
All in all, on this day, when the rest of the country is drinking too much, making lots of noise and celebrating loudly - while the United States is loudly proclaiming its pride and rejoicing about its power and lighting up the night sky with projectile miniature bombs and rockets, I want blinders and earplugs and quietude.
For my birthday, I want a star lit picnic on a blanket the color of earth, surrounded by the scent of freshly cut grass and campfire smoke. I'm tired of chaos and confusion, sick of all the noise and flashing lights. All I want is peace of mind, and a quiet heart.