For several days, I've been looking forward to today. It's April Fool's Day! :) That, to me, is synonymous with "birthday," because I was born on April 1st... some years ago. I've always loved my birthdays. In fact, I can't ever remember not having a good one.
Last year, my sisters and my mom threw me a surprise bash (that I partly knew about). I was still surprised, though, because one of my friends scared me half to death when he jumped out and screamed, "SURPRIIIIISE!" There were also people there that my sisters and best friend had invited--people that I didn't think even cared that I existed, yet they came. There was also the slightly awkward presence of all four boys that I'd ever kissed... But the party was really amazing. I'd always wanted a surprise party! :)
Looking back at it, I realize that the gifts I remember receiving were the ones that really meant something. I vaguely recall a book, and a pen, and a picture frame, but only after thinking about it really hard for a few minutes did I even remember those. One of my best friends gave me a HUGE bag full of Supernatural inside jokes! I laughed and laughed and laughed, even though nobody else knew what the heck was going on. There was even an apple pie!
Another best friend gave me the item currently hanging above my bed: a canvas of pictures of my trio of high school friends that she decorated herself. She printed and cut out the pictures, made a collage, and added animals and flowers. I was shocked, because nobody outside my family had ever spent that much time on something just for me. She also gave me a Batman blanket, which I cherish greatly.
So, today, I cut open the package sent from my parents in Texas to my apartment in Utah. Inside was a note from my mom, telling me that this was for my birthday, and that was for Easter, and not to open them until the appointed days. She reminded me that "it's the thought that counts." I interpreted that to mean that she was worried that whatever she sent wasn't going to be something I was very excited about.
Then, moving aside the colorful grass stuff that emerges in stores around the time of Easter, I saw the tupperware of cookies that she mentioned. Earlier in the day, while talking to my seven-year-old niece, she'd said, "Did you get you package today and eat the cookies?" I laughed and told her I hadn't. "Oh... Well, surprise!" she said, completely undaunted. So, I knew they were there, but what I saw wasn't what I'd been expecting.
My all-time favorite thing to eat in this world is a home-made-and-decorated sugar cookie. I just love them. I love making them. I love making the frosting into different colors. I love pouring copious amounts of sprinkles on them. They're fun to make, and taste so, so good! I think I like them so much because they're something that takes a little bit of effort, but not a whole lot of talent, so anybody can make them. Little kids can make them. They're the perfect food.
So, I have to say that my excitement about the cookies in this tupperware was absolutely paramount. I opened the lid and took one out immediately, biting into it and relishing the sweetness and the melt-in-your-mouth frosting. Upon examining them, I noticed the subtleties that proved my mom really had made them. The way they were frosted--the way the frosting was spread evenly, in swirls, going right to the edges but leaving about a quarter of a centimeter between the edge of the frosting and the edge of the cookie--that was my mom. The sparseness of the sprinkles--that was my mom. The time and the love that she'd put into those cookies was completely obvious. She knew I loved them, so she'd made them and sent them to me, just because it's my birthday.
As I sat down on the couch with a couple on a plate (I knew I was kidding myself, I was definitely going back for more), and a glass of milk, I had a really odd reaction to the simple tupperware full of home-made-and-decorated sugar cookies. My eyes started to sting, and my vision blurred as tears threatened to fall down my face. I know it was a very weird thing to do, crying over a tupperware of cookies...
It was a simple act--my mom making sugar cookies and sending me a package for my birthday. But it really meant a lot to me. They were my favorite, and she knew that.
Sometimes it still shocks me just how much my mother loves me. :)