Tickets to Happiness!!

I celebrated my 45th birthday on the 25th of March. We're pretty low-key about birthdays in my family but always have a fun time. My family - that is my family of origin -  makes a point of going out to eat together to celebrate birthdays. Our dining experience is more about family time than fine food - our favorite Birthday dinner spots are Perkins and Q. Cumbers - and if we give gifts they tend to be somewhat silly or practical.

This year on the day before my Birthday I, Owen and the kids met my parents, my two brothers and my two-year-old nephew at Q. Cumbers for a fun birthday dinner. It may sound silly but while I was up loading my plate at the salad bar buffet I had this overwhelming feeling of being loved - not because of the salad bar offerings (which were wonderful) but because my family members all took time to have dinner with me. In our busy world, spending time with people is one of the best gifts of all! Then we walked around Centennial Lakes Park and talked while we enjoyed the unseasonably nice weather - more family time. More time feeling loved and appreciated.

On Sunday, my actual birthday, Owen, the kids and I went on a bike ride on the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis and then went to a wonderful bike shop/coffee shop, Angry Catfish. Later we settled in at home to open presents and make pizzas for dinner. I mentioned that presents in my family tend to be somewhat silly or practical - very often things that we would have purchased anyway. Owen tells me that the kids had a lot to do with picking out my gifts this year. They picked out some cool things for me, like the Kuhn Rikon mini-prep kitchen knife that Ryan picked out for me (probably in part because I know he wanted it, too!)
Rose presented a package carefully wrapped in tissue paper for me to open. This one, Owen said, was a present he didn't know about. I opened it up and found the sweetest gift from my lovely and sweet daughter. Rose made two little paper folders - one for Owen and one for me. On them were the words, "Your Tickets to HAPPINESS!!! and tucked inside were hand lettered "Tickets to Happiness."
Rose had noticed, she told us, that we say we seldom find time to sit still and read, or fly model airplanes or kites, or walk in the garden, or just, well, sit still and feel free of obligations and to-do lists. So Rose's solution was to give us Tickets to Happiness to cash in whenever we wanted some time off.

Even if I don't cash in all of my tickets (though I will, I'm sure, take advantage of "2 hours of whatever you want" soon) Rose's gift has already served a great purpose. She reminded me that I already have the  Tickets to Happiness - and they are not tickets or things but people -  Friends. Relatives. Neighbors. Parents. Brothers. Nephew. And especially Owen, Ryan and my Rose. My Family. I am so blessed.


happy happy late birthday! i love how you celebrated it, and your family did an amazing job of finding the perfect gifts!
Janice said…
You painted a beautiful picture of a lovely family and what's important in life. Just loved it. Your kids are adorable!

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