Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thoroughly Thankful Thursday, Week 9: The simplest gift

I turned 27 this past week. While I don't really feel old, I definitely feel as though I've gotten to the point where birthdays can be less than exciting. It's rare to get to devote an entire day to celebrating a birthday once you're an adult, and I'm definitely past the point of "going out" to celebrate. I actually don't know that I ever reached that point; regardless, it's not something I'd do now.

For my birthday this year, two of our friends offered to babysit Emily and Erin so we could go out for the evening. I really believe that they enjoyed watching the girls as much as we enjoyed getting a couple of hours out, which made it much easier for me to leave them. Dan and I got to go out for dinner, and we made an effort to converse like adults. I enjoyed a glass of wine with my chicken Marsala, and he enjoyed a craft beer. It's funny how something we did all the time before we had kids is so much more special now.

Towards the end of the week, Dan needed to use our car for work. Now, we are a one-car family, and since Dan works from home, I use the car much more than he does. I typically have the girls with me wherever I go, so the interior and the trunk look like a baby's closet exploded - toys and clothes scattered everywhere, with a few coffee mugs and water bottles for good measure. It's been too rainy and dark the last few weeks to even contemplate cleaning it up, so I just moved things into the trunk as they got in the way and figured I'd get around to a major cleanup later on.

Enter this fabulous guy I married. When he told me he needed the car for work, my only reaction was that he needed to be home in time for me to make it to work in the afternoon. With that issue resolved, I didn't think any more of it. That is, until he announced he needed to transport some things and had to clean out the trunk. I braced myself for a scathing criticism of my slovenly habits as he backed the car up to the garage door.

Immediately after he finished, I had to head to work. As I got in the car, I noticed it was not only devoid of clutter, it was spotless. Immaculate. No water bottles rolling as I stopped and started (one of my pet peeves) and no heap of snowsuits and blankets in between the two car seat bases. Every surface, including the front floor mats, had been freshly vacuumed. I'm usually slightly frantic as I leave for work (chronic disorganization, anyone?), but the sight of the freshly cleaned car sent a wave of calm sweeping over me.

Twenty years ago, I wanted a day that was all about me. I don't remember what presents I'd asked for, but I know that I anticipated the presents and the cake more than anything. I've always been a fan of strange cake flavors - I think I had "cherry chip" cakes for several birthdays around that time. Ten years ago, I finally decided to go get my learner's permit. I'm sure I'd outgrown the cherry chip cake by then and moved on to something more grownup (though I can't remember what), but I was still excited about getting presents. Last year, all I wanted was to know with certainty that everything would turn out okay and I would be able to carry our twins to full term.

If you'd told me that I'd be writing about how grateful I was this year for a simple dinner date and a clean car - a clean car - this year, I probably would have stared at you as though broccoli was growing from your head. This year, however, I'm too busy enjoying my clean car and reminiscing about our nice dinner (not to mention soaking up my baby girls' childhood) to stare. I'm just grateful. Our life is truly abundantly blessed.

What are you thankful for this week? Link your post below or share in the comments! I can't wait to hear!

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