Happy Birthday to me!

Friday was a great birthday for me. I got my car after working late on Thursday night and was able to drive to work for the first time. The new section chief bought us pizza for lunch (which turned out quite good; apparently the pizza shop is run by Americans who return to the U.S. every few months and bring back loads of cheese) and then I had a delicious steak dinner with several of my friends here. I wasn’t planning on doing anything socially for my birthday but when one of my friends suggested it, I was on board. I was very happy that so many people showed up and it made me feel that I was part of the group down here. It’s not that I’ve ever felt that I wasn’t, but it made clear that I was no longer “the new guy”.

The Eminent Wife and Child gave me an Amazon gift card apparently because the Child is under the belief that anything you buy online comes from Amazon. I sent her flowers from FTD International on her birthday; she talks about how I got her flowers from Amazon. I also heard a reference that perhaps I could use the gift card to buy myself from flowers from Amazon too.

Best of all was the card she made me. It was written in Japanese and English, with little hearts for the “o”s and dots on the “i”s. Very precious. I printed out a copy for my desk and brought one home. Because it makes me miss them more I don’t spend a lot of time looking at pictures, but I do break down and bear the pain of separation while I browse the stack of pictures I brought with me until I can’t take it anymore. I didn’t realize how many pictures I’d taken over her lifetime until I started printing them out. I ran out of time (and ink!) and only printed through her second full year, so most of what I have is her at her most precious stages. I can’t wait for us all to move together.

But don’t let that diversion into my little emotional hell make you think that I didn’t have a great day. I got messages from most of my family either online or voice mail that was very nice. On Saturday I had a long conversation with my family, made some pizza and calzone, and watched the Rugby World Cup.

The most unexpected bit came on Saturday when I got an email from Sugar’s vet informing me that it was her birthday. Go figure!