On the cold morning of my birthday (today) after a warm breakfast with my visiting parents, I throw myself down onto the sofa and curl up under a fuzzy blanket.
“It’s my BIRTHDAY and I have the REMOTE all DAY!” I sing to no one at all because the kids are playing with Lady, a lovely borrowed dog who is with us for the holidays.
As I deliberately enjoy my ritual of flipping through wedding dress shows, WW2 shows, Pawn shows, news shows, home shows, cooking shows and funny animal shows, Zoe leaves the dog and Zack to their game of hide-and-seek and joins me on the sofa.
I sing it again, now that I have someone to listen, “It’s my BIRTHDAY and I have the REMOTE all DAY!”
Zoe smiles at my song and adds, “And you get to see Harry Potter today! Aren’t you exited?”
I mirror her super cheery smile, and in turn she pats me gently like I’m her old lady mother, feeble and frail, then asks, “Is today BETTER than last year’s birthday when a BUG went up your BUTT?”
While I give her question the serious deliberation it requires, Zoe takes the remote control from me without asking, out of habit, and is quickly transfixed, flipping channels. She pulls up my blanket and curls herself under it and around me.
Last year we spent my very cold birthday at Animal Kingdom, and I had a horrible cold and could hardly talk.
I should have stayed home but besides an awful chest shaking throat ripping cough, I felt really fine.
The highlight of the day was at the 4D show “A Bugs Life” where, after a cool 3D movie, the benches come alive, which I didn’t expect (would you?) and some Disney-imagineered bug went straight up my butt through my coat and my jeans.
In response to this surprise invasion I jumped and shrieked something like " EEEEEEEEP!!," which was so funny I laughed at myself and then started coughing uncontrollably so hard and ugly that people in the rows around me in all directions winced and covered themselves and their children with whatever they could.
Their general reaction would have been considered rude, but as we were in the midst of Spanish Flu Death Watch 2009, I could imagine a few people thinking something along the lines of "Dear Stars Above, oh Why? - oh Why? - oh Why? oh Why Did I Not Pack a Surgical Mask to Wear for this Onslaught of Plague from this Red Coated Blonde Weapon of Biological Destruction??" which made me laugh (and cough) harder, causing the the crowd to stampede worse, grabbing their cameras and running from me like paparazzi in reverse.
It may have only lasted a few minutes but it was the highlight of my birthday and my week, laughing and coughing and being unable to sit down out of fear that damn butt invading butt would rise up again.
“That was a good time. Today is better.” I answer Zoe's question, warm with certainty. It’s been an excellent, excellent year and even better year is coming around the corner, like stairs going up, up, up, of that I am sure,.