Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today was my 51st birthday. I wanted to spend it with Andre in New York City at the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Building). But we still don't know for sure when he's going to get his visa. The receipt from the courier says it will be delivered on April 8, but the consul advised him not to make any flight reservations because they have to investigate the problem with his Haitian passport. Hopefully, by now, they realize that he didn't know FedEx lost his passport. Just as soon as he gets the visa, I'll reserve new flights for us to meet in NY. His bags are already packed.

Today started off with a beautiful, romantic email from Andre, followed by a nice long conversation via Skype. Then I swam 51 lengths of the pool (60 feet x 51= 1860 feet, which is only 1/3 of a mile) in about 50 minutes. I meant to do 51 pushups too, but never got around to it and now it's too late. I turned in my tax info to my CPA which made me very happy. And my long-time friend Erica Schafer gave me a birthday chiropractic adjustment and massage. That was fabulous. Tonight, Daniel and I went out to Saturn Cafe for a light dinner, followed by cake and free birthday ice cream. It was someone else's birthday too and the wait staff made a big embarrassing fuss over her. I was glad I made a point of saying I did not want any public acknowledgment.

While I swam my laps I tried to remember something i did from each year of my life.
1= we lived in Newton, NJ in an apartment above a garage
2= we were living in a duplex on Woodlawn St. near the railroad tracks and highway 5 in Chula Vista, California. My best friend's name was Kendra.
3= we bought the house at 432 Vista Way in Chula Vista where my dad still lives.
4= played with Ann Smotherman and Andrea Tarantino who also grew up on Vista Way. Ann called me tonight for my birthday.
5= started kindergarten at Rosebank Elementary School, where I attended through 6th grade.

I even remember my teachers' names: kindergarten-Mrs. McNary, 1st grade- Mrs. Butler, 2nd grade-Miss Hess, 3rd grade-Mrs. Armstrong, 4th grade-Mrs. Nelson, 5th grade-Mrs. Brown, 6th grade-Mr. Smith.

I surprised myself for being able to think of something for nearly every year, especially since I swim the length of the pool in about 1 minute. Often it helped to calculate the year, rather than my age. For example, I couldn't think of anything for 32 years old, until I figured out that was 1989, the year of the Loma Prieta earthquake that devastated downtown Santa Cruz. I was in Italy at the time. Same thing for the big storm of 1982. I couldn't have told you that I was 25 years old at the time. My dog Tipper and I were watching a crane try to break up a log jam on the San Lorenzo River under the Soquel Ave. bridge when the older half of the bridge collapsed. Luckily, no one was on that side and it actually succeeded in letting the trees and branches float down to the ocean instead of damming up and flooding downtown Santa Cruz.

....and so on. I will actually take the time to write it up for myself. A little mini-bio. Something to pass onto my future kids, if Andre and I get that far in our relationship and our dreams. We both love the idea of raising a family together, an adopted boy and girl, mixed black/white just to keep strangers from staring too much. We're already an odd couple, racially, age-wise, culturally, etc. And I'll definitely be old enough to be the grandma to my kids (as well as old enough to be Andre's mom), which is already cause to stare.

I'm still hoping to celebrate my birthday belatedly at the Top of the Rock with Andre in New York. He turns 31 on April 23, which I hope we'll celebrate here in Santa Cruz. I'll invite some of his new friends to join us. Last year we spent my birthday together in Sosua, Dominican Republic with my friend Robin and her family who were vacationing there. For his birthday, I was in Santa Cruz, but sent money to some friends in Santo Domingo who bought a cake and made a dinner and invited some of our friends to surprise him. He said it was the best birthday of his life. Just wait. He hasn't seen anything yet. This is the woman who had mariachis, a pony, and a bounce house at Maya's 3rd birthday, and 40 kids at her 9th and last birthday at the bowling alley with Mickey Magic performing during the cake and ice cream.

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