Reflections on turning 42; adult birthday parties still about the kids

Emmy and Dad take a birthday selfie at the top of our hike.

Emmy and Dad take a birthday selfie at the top of our hike.

Charlie, our oldest of three girls, came running into the bedroom and asked if I wanted to go to the Super Bowl with Uncle Kirk for my birthday.

“’Cause you like hockey,” she said.

Uh, yes dear, that’s true, but Daddy can’t really jet off to Arizona these days, not with the part-time/contract income, mortgage, maternity leave, and college funds to save for.

Instead, Daddy had modest ambitions for his 42nd anniversary at life. I’d start by making blueberry pancakes with the kids, frying some thick-sliced applewood-smoked bacon, and lounging with a cup of strong coffee laced with the Bailey’s we’d received at Christmas.

Then we’d take the dog for a walk and end at Tim Hortons where I could treat the family with that $5 gift card I’d received from my boss. We’d end the night making homemade pizza and Daddy could treat himself with two beers while he flopped on the couch; Netflix has “Noah” now, and I love a good fairytale.

It almost happened that way.

Unfortunately, our day started at 4 a.m. when my wife drove her brother to the airport for his flight south. That seemed to wake Charlie to pee. She woke up George, who wanted mommy-milk-lullaby-duck-baby and her “soo-der.” That woke up Daddy, who stumbled into their bedroom to settle them down.

They were up again just after 7 a.m. Blessedly, Mommy gave them breakfast while Daddy slept until 8 a.m. (there may be a guest blog from my wife disputing these timelines).

That meant, though, the pancakes would have to wait because we were rushing off to look at a new house. We’ve been hunting for something closer to schools, parks, and my wife’s family to save us the 30-minute drives.

By the time we returned home, lunch had to be made and Mommy was a zombie, but Daddy continued with the plan to take the dog for a hike … with one little passenger. Emmy, about to turn four months old, was wide-awake so she strapped into the Snugli on my chest and explored the hillsides with Lulu and I.

Lulu studies miscreant squirrels during a pause at the top of our birthday hike.

Lulu studies miscreant squirrels during a pause at the top of our birthday hike.

She handled the fallen trees and snowdrifts like a champion.

It was up high looking at Okanagan Lake when I decided this was all I needed from the day. Climbing to the top of the hills behind our house is one of the things I miss most about life before kids. Looking at Emmy wide-eyed reinforced what’s important to us these days.

I’ll blame the sleep deprivation for not remembering that insight when I finally returned home. To save on time, I’ll summarize the evening portion of my birthday: ordered pizza, restaurant missed order, beer store, grocery store, kids refusing to eat “too ’picey” pizza, whipping together cookies-and-cream frosting for the cake, Daddy breaking down, dealing with a surprise home visit from a real-estate agent straight out of TLC, stopping Georgie from hitting everyone and then realizing it was 9:30 and I was exhausted.

“Noah” is 2 ½ hours long, too, so that will have to wait for another night. I’ve penciled it in for Nov. 19, 2018.