Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I feel guilty right now because I'm so happy about how the birthday picnic turned out today. I feel guilty because it wasn't about me today; it was about the Evil One. It is his birthday today. But the smile on his face and the look of pleasure and happiness, not to mention all the times he has thanked me in person, by email and by IM, make me happy.
Our picnic lunch in the park today was perfect. The sky was a perfect Colorado blue without a hint of a cloud anywhere. The temperature was warm with a refreshing breeze under a warm caress of sun. The birds were singing brightly. The park was quiet with a few little kids playing on the monkey bars, slides and swings and in the sand with their mothers.
I arrived well before the Evil One and unpacked my basket and bag, setting out the spicy Mexican chicken salad I made that morning, fresh strawberries, the cheesecake and his gift bag. I had to stop and calm myself because I was so excited I was trembling and out of breath. He arrived at 11, coming down the hill with two bottles of water in his hands and a big smile. I wished him a happy birthday and we chatted briefly. Then I made the mistake of giving him a choice. "Would you like to eat first or open your gifts?"
"I suppose I'll just get the gifts out of the way first." He had a happy little boy grin on his face while he worked his way through the tissue grass screening the gifts from above.
He loved everything and we dug into the salad while he eyed the beautiful birthday cheesecake between bites and laughing and talking. He even had a second helping of the salad and pronounced it very good. Not bad for an Atkins recipe and well worth the effort.
See? There I go again. I didn't put all this together because it was a chore or because I wanted praise or thanks. I put it all together because I wanted to celebrate the Evil One's birth and hopefully make him feel special, and yet I am smiling and happy because he was glad. It was like a gift for me, too -- spending time together, sharing a meal and seeing him happy, smiling and teasing.
All of this makes me wonder if sometimes we give the people we care about gifts because we receive the gift of sharing their happiness and knowing that for a moment we touched their hearts and their lives. It seems a little selfish to think of myself at a time when I want someone else to feel special, but there it is.
Just knowing he had a good time and will enjoy and use the gifts I chose is indeed a gift I can share. So, I will have to face the fact that I am indeed selfish and I enjoy the pleasure of the people around me. Bite me! I'm selfish.