My 43rd birthday – yesterday- started at about 4:15 AM with Felix wailing. His grandfather had given him a dreamcatcher keychain. It had been Precioused. In the night, one of the feathers had fallen out. Disaster. I wrestled him on to the couch where we both went back to sleep, sans feather. He slept through my alarm and me getting ready for work. I did sneak the dreamcatcher out of his fist, glued the feather back on, and returned it to his sleepy little hand without him cracking an eye open. Call me the dreamcatcher fairy. Mad mom skill point.
When I went to work, I had to get ready for landfill duty. I’m not usually that sentimental about my birthday, but there was something kind of wrong about the idea of spending a chunk of it running around a couple of landfills. “Hey, Laura! What’d you do for your birthday?” “Why, I spent it on a landfill, of course.” See? Sounds bad.
Honestly, I was afraid I’d get as depressed as I got the Friday before. I’ve been to landfills loads of times. This time felt different. “Debris” and “white goods” and “e-waste” all sound so sterile and clinical. Then you see these impossibly huge mountains of rubbish and what would normally be cardboard boxes and broken pallets and empty paint cans are people’s mattresses and couches and floorboards. And that little girl’s doll mixed in with all the other flood debris… I came home Friday very sad. I didn’t want to feel that sad yesterday.
When I got back to the office, my boss took me out for lunch. That was nice. He didn’t have to do that. I spent the rest of the day doing stupid paperwork. There’s nothing like extra government involvement – the Feds this time- to generate an excruciating amount of red tape. Seriously, I spent almost as much time on paperwork and accounting for time and mileage as I did performing landfill oversight. It’s bonkers.
After that, I picked up my kids from their schools. I only kinda sorta had to cook. I had a turkey breast in the slow cooker. My kid brother sent me a beautiful flower arrangement. It was waiting on my doorstep when I got home. It’s loaded with hydrangeas- one of my favorite flowers. I haven’t gotten flowers in ages. I’m normally a “why spend all that money on cut flowers when you can buy seeds or a plant even cheaper” kind of girl. These made me feel good. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age.
The rest of the evening consisted of Pinot noir, reading tons of sweet messages on Facebook and Instagram, making silly Snapchat pictures and belly-laughing with Stella, and watching Gotham. Not a bad birthday, landfills and all.