Today is my 30th birthday, I spent the day with my daughter, taking her to all of the independence day activities around our house. We began by going swimming at my mom and dad’s house. Next we went to the parade in downtown Crouse. Since many of you have never heard of Crouse, I can sum it up like this: we’ve lived here for almost 2 years now and I had to actually look up where downtown Crouse is… there’s a gas station, that’s downtown. But, the parade was fun and they gave out lots of candy. Next, we went to the big city of Lincolnton (also not large), to watch another parade and fireworks. All in all, today was fabulous. As the day progressed, I couldn’t help but think of my past birthdays, and how much has changed.
My 20th birthday was also blast, we had a 4 day kegger. For those of you who do not live in the US, the drinking age here is 21, so yes, laws were broken. I remember that by the end of the weekend people thought that their livers would give out, and someone was arrested for boating while impaired. I wish I had a picture from those days, but cell phones just weren’t the same as they are now.
On the night before my 21st birthday we went to a bar, I waited until midnight then ordered my first legal drink. A few days after my birthday we went to the beach for a week, this was the time I realized that it is entirely possible to drink yourself sober. Each day we began drinking around 10ish, by around 4 I was sick, by 4:15 I was sober and we’d go for dinner, by 7 I would be sick again, but after that I’d feel like a million bucks and be ready to go for the rest of the night.
My 22nd birthday was probably one of my best birthdays, I went to the beach for the entire week and spent it with a family… not my family, but a friends. I spent the days sipping beer and tanning on the beach and on the night of my birthday we went out dancing. I don’t know why I loved this birthday so much, but I’m sure it had something to do with not getting out of control drunk.
My 23rd birthday was my first birthday spent with my husband. We went to the mountains for the weekend with my best friend and her husband. We played drinking games, went out on the lake, and ate a lot (not in that particular order). The thing I took from this birthday weekend was that crappy cell phones get better cell service in the mountains and that nothing compares to the sound of a storm on the front porch of a mountain house.
My 24th birthday was my first birthday spent sober. We literally just stayed at home and a couple people came over for cake and coffee. It’s funny because none of my oldest friends showed up, just the new ones I had met after I stopped drinking, it was likely my loneliest birthday, but meaningful in that people did care.
My 25th birthday was spent in Wisconsin. My sister in law and her husband were married on July 3rd and my husband was in the wedding. We had a lot of fun at the wedding and the next day (my birthday) we took it easy and went to fireworks that night.
I don’t really remember much about my 26th birthday, I was planning my wedding and we had a lot of family drama at the time.
I was pregnant on my 27th birthday and I spent the morning crying. I know many of you are wondering why… I don’t know, probably because I was pregnant and that’s what pregnant people do sometimes. After crying, Derrick took me out to eat and we went to see fireworks together. We laid on a blanket hand in hand and just spent the time talking. I ended up loving this birthday.
My 28th and 29th birthdays were the same, we saw the parade and fireworks as a family. A lot has changed in the past 10 years, all of it for the better. 10 years ago, my birthdays were exciting and drunken days filled with celebration, and today, my birthday was exciting as I watched the festivities through the eyes of my sweet daughter and thought about the little secret I have swimming around in my stomach. Next year, I will be toting around 2 kids who will giggle with excitement during the parade and undoubtedly pass out on my shoulder during the fireworks, and I can’t wait. I thought that today would be a terrible day, but 30 is going to be awesome.