My birthday this year was quite lame. I know, I know… as we get older birthdays generally get less exciting, but honestly, I love birthdays, traditions and holidays. My birthday and Christmas Day are two days of the year where I can literally feel an excitement bubbling up from inside me. I’m not sure where it comes from, but these are two days that really matter to me. In that excitement lies a certain expectation that, no matter what, these days will be filled with love and joy. Unfortunately this year didn’t go as I had imagined in my mind, and I therefore felt a deep disappointment. Some people might get down about getting older (I really don’t care about that) but for me it is all about THAT day.
The morning before my birthday we found out that Justin’s grandfather had passed away. I mentioned this in a recent post – Brunch with our Boy. We also had a lot of paperwork/ visa problems in the days leading up to my birthday. It just seemed like an unusually stressful week, and in our home there really isn’t much stress, so it was uncomfortable and unnerving for all of us. Anyway, my birthday morning arrived, and from the minute that I opened my eyes, I just knew that this day wasn’t going to be what I always hope for it to be. Last year we had a lot more friends around, and I know I seem to harp on this, but I can’t quite explain the difference that saying goodbye to all those people has been. Just like Christmas, my birthday was unfortunately a sad day for me. We have faced many loses in the last six months, and maybe subconsciously that made my expectation for this birthday a little more than previous birthdays. I know that these aren’t the pivotal moments in life, but they still really matter to me. Living abroad isn’t easy for me on these days.
We took a long walk along the coast, but there was a thick cold mist covering us the entire way. Again, I was disappointed because all week the wether forecast had shown that my birthday was going to be sunny and clear. After a long, and emotionally draining, day, we ended up at Marina City. Next to the Yacht club there is a Teppanyaki restaurant which we have always wanted to try, but never got round to it. They serve a wide selection of seafood, steak, vegetables and side dishes. Check out a post I did a few days ago on the restaurant: Tairyo Teppanyaki.
The following week we were all feeling much happier, so we decided to stage a “birthday redo”. That’s the great part about being an adult – we can just change our birthday if we want. Who cares about the rules?! Who says we have to celebrate our birthday on a week where we just aren’t feeling up to it? We decided to redo my birthday on March 26th. Justin bought some bacon and made me a delicious breakfast sandwich, and after that we made our way to the coast once more. We did the same walk from ShiLaoren to Marina City, which is roughly 13km. Along the way we stopped to eat snacks, play on the beach and talk to the locals.
During our walk, Elijah slept for almost 2.5 hours. When he woke up we stopped on a beach with less rocks (because he knows no danger) and let him run around. He went directly over to a little boy who was playing in the sand. Eli just stood and watched the boy, and then bent down pick up and shovel and help him. It is frightening how easily Eli will run off, and never even turn to see where we are. If we go to the beach when it is crowded I will have to have a rope that links the two of us. He could disappear in a crowd within two seconds, and no amount of calling gets him to return to us. There he is, below, playing with a little Chinese boy. As you can see, Eli is watching the boy, and the boy’s mom is staring at Eli. It seems that everyone’s intrigued!
Eli also has no problem getting onto, or picking up, other people’s stuff.
Thankfully no one seems to mind. Actually they love that the foreign kid with big blue eyes is interacting with them.
Elijah didn’t want to leave the beach but his hands and face were ice cold, so we literally had to drag him back onto the boardwalk. Needless to say, there were tears!
One of the happiest moments on my birthday redo was discovering that many of the trees in and around our neighborhood are now beginning to blossom. I especially love the white cherry blossom trees below, because once they are in full bloom it looks like there are cotton balls all over the trees. Kind of like a magical spring snow which contrasts beautifully with the blue skies that also make their appearance after winter leaves.
By the time that we reached Marina City we were starving. Four hours of walking will do that to you. We walked through a few stores, and then along the yacht club. The sun was beginning to set and everything had a beautiful glow to it.
We couldn’t resist revisiting the Tairyo Tappenyaki restaurant that we had visited on my actual birthday. This time Elijah was awake for the entire duration of our meal, but we had brought the iPad along so he watched his songs and stories.
Thank goodness for second chances!