Another Tribute To My Man, In The Cold Dark Month of February…
Yesterday was my husband’s birthday.
He rolled out of bed while it was still dark, showered, put on a flannel shirt I’d ironed for him (a rare occasion, me ironing), ran kids to the bus, fried himself a quick couple of eggs, and drove to the train. Which he has learned to regard with strict respect; last month another commuter at Frank’s stop (deafened by earbuds and unfamiliar with the train’s routine) crossed the tracks a little late and was hit…or rather, battered and thrown by the train. But that’s another story, a sad one. Still it seems relevant. It nuances the fact that my man leaves for work in the dark. That he returns home in the dark after a day’s work. And that between the leaving and the returning, there’s the train…implacable and occasionally deadly. Endless tons of hurtling iron.
We choked on celebrating his birthday. It was the middle of the week; the kids had piano lessons and homework and church activities, and I was gripped by a gasping, wracking cough and a disgusting runny nose. I spent the day in my pj’s clutching Kleenexes (when I drove the kids places, I pretended no one could see me). No hot mama for my man to come home to on his natal day. And since Frank is eyeing carbs with antagonism lately, it would have been unkind to bake a cake for him even if I could manage it. We’re saving the cake experience for the weekend. Which I’ve moved up to tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll dress up, the kids and I will sing, and we’ll go out. Tomorrow we’ll grill the lean-fatted calf and throw confetti.
We do this too often though…defer a celebration for the sake of convenience. I’ve promised and promised myself that one day, even if it’s a cold, dark, February Wednesday….one day, Frank will wake up to a sparkling Hoorah! Hooray! Hello! Happy Birthday! Affection typified by joyous party ephemera. What kind of ephemera I’m not sure of yet. I don’t think confetti would impress him. He doesn’t appreciate chaos. He’d smile at balloons, but then they’d probably get in his way and feel all awkward and unattractive at his feet.
Maybe I’ll jump out of a cake in something nefariously skimpy. I’m pretty sure Frank prefers my legs to balloons…unless my legs BECOME balloons because my wracking cough has turned into something archaic and awful like consumption and I’m bedridden for a year.
Meanwhile, Happy Birthday Beau. I was going to make a dress to wow you in and tomorrow’s cake and also something amazing and carb-less for dinner, but I wrote this blog post for you instead. I’ve loved you all your life, even though we’ve only known each other for a smidge over half of it (we can thank your parents for all those pictures and stories of your past, babe…including the baby oiled teenager posing for the body building competition in a Speedo). I’ll take it all, from the moment you came til long long after you’re gone.