Birthdays are special days. At least, that is what I have believed in all my life.
When I was a kid, my birthdays were intimate affairs spent with the family. Then when I became a teen, birthdays were big gatherings and my friends would make me feel like a star on that special day.
In my early twenties, it became the more the merrier. I remember I invited over 50 friends for my 21st birthday celebration and even in the following years, birthdays would be spent in clubs, KTVs or over steamboat and BBQ gatherings. There was even a year when I received not one, not two, but seven cakes for the same birthday because I had numerous groups of friends and colleagues celebrating it for me.
Then came the late twenties and that was when I became a mum. Suddenly, everything changed. Birthdays still mattered but it seemed like mine could take a backseat so that I could focus on celebrating my kids'. The big gatherings toned down and intimate gatherings took over once again.
Yesterday, I turned 32. Unlike many of the previous years, I wasn't particularly thrilled about the big day. Not because I dreaded the thought of it, but because for some reason, I felt strangely peaceful inside.
|A simple cake cutting ceremony with my parents, popo and kids. Still can't believe that cake costs $2.05 from NTUC! And it's yummy! Thank you, my family, for standing by me through these 32 years!|
|Celebration with the hubby and kids after a Korean BBQ dinner|
I woke up as usual, brought Angel to school, spent the day with Ariel and in the evening, we went for a family dinner followed by a simple cake-cutting ceremony. No frills, no thrills. No surprises, no big gifts except for handmade cards. Which, by the way, mean the world to me.
|Card made by Angel, who designed and created it on her own. She even drew a library, bed, fan and TV in the house and spelt all the words herself using the alphabet stickers|
|Card made by the hubby, something he hasn't done in years. In case you are wondering, that artistic silver symbol means 双, which is my chinese name and what my family and loved ones call me|
|Card made by Ariel. She wanted to draw 'eggs', so I helped her with the outline and she drew in the faces for Papa egg, Mama egg, Jiejie egg and Meimei egg|
You know that feeling when suddenly life just seems perfect and you're at the best time of your life, enjoying each and every second of your journey and feeling thankful for being where you are today? Yes, that. I felt that so strongly this year.
老了, 老了, is what some people might say. Yes, meaning age is catching up with you and that is perhaps why you start to cherish more and feel contented with what you have, instead of chasing what eludes you.
|Special heart-shaped watermelon! Adds on to the sweetness and love that was in my heart that night|
|They made a wish with me and blew out the candles before I could finish. The thing is, I almost thought I had nothing to wish for this year. Except for a happy, healthy family. And world peace|
For me, well, it's more of 到了, 到了. Yes, I reached. Reached the point in my life when I feel blessed, fortunate, loved and happy beyond words. No, life is still far from perfect but at least I've somehow accepted every crack and every flaw wholeheartedly. The way I see it, it's a much better life than I ever could have asked for and a more fulfilling one than I had ever imagined. Loving parents and in-laws. Awesome husband. Great friends. Beautiful kids. Best job in the world. Honestly, I probably don't deserve so much goodness in my life.
When the girls sang the birthday song and gave me sweet kisses, one on each cheek, I was so elated that I could cry tears of joy. My big girl, not too big but big enough to have a nice girly talk with me, sitting on my left lap. My small girl, not too small but still small enough for me to call her a baby, sitting on my right. My husband, not the best man in the world but the best man for me, standing right opposite to capture my big smiles on camera. I had everything I needed in the world. Everything.
If you are reading this, you probably make a difference to my life in a way you don't know too, so thank you for that. I also greatly appreciate all the wishes that poured in from family, friends, readers and even sponsors from near and far. Thank you for remembering me and for dropping those kind messages through Facebook and Whatsapp. All of you have played a part in my life story and that is why I have such a rewarding and happy one. Every inch of me feels grateful today so I just hope to pass on more goodness to others in the little ways that I can. (P.S. My next Spread L.O.V.E post should be up next month! I hope!)
Happy birthday to me. And yes, it's really a happy one this year.
|Sweetest kisses ever. Thank you, my dears, for making me a truly happy mum|