On morning hall duty I heard someone singing and my first thought was “what person is losing it this early?” when I realized it was the music teacher, oh yeah, singing for me in the chilly rainy morning. A solo surprise.
And when I walked into lunch, one of my kindergarten teacher friends had “Happy Birthday queued up on her iTunes on the laptop, and friends began to sing along. Wow, this is two birthday songs on key and very sweet. I asked for it in Soul Train blues — and got that and several other versions, so we danced along.
After school, when I got to SJSU for the writing project team meeting, there were gifts and cards and a cake from Bijan.
I served slices around as the team gathered and talk about the website re-design started. Then someone suggested it was a necessity, a traditional requirement, that they sing to me. I was trying to wave it off, but all around the conference table, each one of my writing project friends sang…not just in tune, but deliberately so I could look into everyone eyes round the table and love each person so much. They closed in a very interesting harmonic blend, which surprised everyone. We all clapped because it was good!
I had set my alarm to go home at 6 pm because I’d promised my mother we’d have a glass of bubbly with our chicken sandwich, but when the alarm was going off there was a sign-in thing for us to do, and then a teacher wanted to talk about an email — and then I had so many gifts — flowers, wine, champagne, cards, chocolate bars, and things to pack — I got home late.
D. didn’t seem to mind. There was a phone call from the neighbor, while I was slicing chicken, saying, “D. never answers her phone. May I talk to her?” So the neighbors had been invited over and were bringing bubbly. I hadn’t even read all my cards yet.
They joined us at the dining room table, and we made a few toasts with our bubbly and started talking. Then P. brought in a plate:
Those are eclairs with custard. The significance of seven candles on seven eclairs was not lost on me. More stories, and talk about the movies that won awards, and why we love old clay-mation. Stories from camping and other birthdays. I am so lucky having neighbors who are good friends.
I realized that my mom had gotten her “baby sitter” to walk over to the bakery, and had set this whole thing up, just for me. And now, it’s way past my bedtime on a school night, but what fun to celebrate a birthday (I had been dreading somewhat) with such love and joy.