Today is my birthday. My 38th birthday.
It's either my age or my life situations that have made me more of an introspective person over the last few years. Little things now often remind me of bigger thoughts. Could be the additional grey hairs and wrinkles. Could be those bumps on the road. Could be more of life's experiences under my belt.
Yesterday, the students in my class (with the help of their parents) planned a wonderful "surprise" party for me (is it ever a surprise where 7 year olds are involved?) It was so sweet: They had decorations and home-made cards (which I love! Especially when they include sweet, heartfelt sentiments like "I love you" or "You are a really, really great teacher" and "Thank you for being my teacher and teaching us really well (notice she didn't say "good?" ) I like math and penmanship. I like you a lot, too. You are cool!!!" (Good to know I'm still "cool" to a 7 year old!). They got me some really great presents as a class. You gotta love the things kids think of! I got 3 pairs of socks, a fish for the classroom which we named "Rainbow", earrings, necklace and bracelet and a beautiful angel that sits on my shelf. They were so excited to share their cards, gifts, cake and joy with me!
But the thing that struck me was when they sang "Happy Birthday" to me. Very cute and off key. And then, true to 7 year old form, they concluded with the clapping count: Are you 1? Are you 2? Are you 3? I was going to encourage them to count by twos to speed things up a bit, then thought better of it as they were having so much fun.
By around clap 5, I got to thinking of when I was 5. And then each clap became a little snapshot of myself at that age.
and on and on (and on and on and on... I am getting up there you know).
And I just felt so blessed for each number they clapped off. Each year was a really good one. Full of great blessings of love with friends and family. Blessings from God.
A few claps (maybe 3) were hard to hear. Yes, we have had some hard years. But 35 out of 38 great claps is a wonderful percentage. It gives me great perspective. I have been blessed. I am blessed.
38 claps worth.