Today is the day we had plane tickets to fly to LAX to celebrate my birthday at Disneyland. We had ressies at the Disneyland Hotel and were looking forward to the new Cars Land at DCA. But then Rich got sick and had to use his vacation days for his hospital stay and recovery period. I’m so thankful he recovered and giving up my birthday trip was a small price to pay.
But I still have some emotion around the disappointment. And it’s not really about Disneyland or even the trip out west. It’s the fact that this is the first birthday since we left Las Vegas. And every year that house in Vegas – the view of the backyard from the kitchen window – reminded me of my last birthday living in SoCal and that house on Mt. Mitchell before the family moved to Oregon. The last time I drove by that house (less than a year ago), I just sat there, breathing in the familiar air, and wishing with all my might I still lived there.
But on the day of that last birthday, I was babysitting the little girls next door and my mother was baking my favorite birthday cake – white angel food cake with pink frosting. And the five of us – mother, dad, sister, brother, and me – celebrated my birthday after my babysitting stint was over. By the time my “Sweet 16” birthday rolled around, we’d moved to Oregon. My friends from SoCal called me that day, and I cried after. I feel like crying today.
The first time you do anything in a new place can trigger a memory from the last time and place you did it. So this birthday is triggering Vegas and Vegas reminded me of my last birthday in SoCal. But I’m looking forward to Wilderness Lodge, Artist Point, and the Magic Kingdom. In the meantime, this will probably be a tough week, thinking about the “What would we be doing this week if we’d gone?” type of questions.
But I’m starting a new contract with a previous Silicon Valley/Silicon Forest client so I’ll probably soon be too busy to give it too much thought.