I feel like Noach after the flood. Fortunately, rather than surviving a real flood, I have had the privilege of experiencing a flood of love and affection that I’ve been showered with over the last 40 days.
41 days ago, I was sitting in the family room, when the boys suddenly started singing “Happy Birthday to You!” I looked at them like they were crazy. It was, after all, nowhere near my birthday, and I couldn’t imagine what had gotten into them. Then, Josh with a sparkle in his eye, explained that this was the beginning of a 40 day bonanza leading up to my 40th birthday.
And, indeed, it has been.
While I have loved – and I mean LOVED – each of my gifts, the real gift has been in the sentiment. Watching Josh’s creativity and thoughtfulness has really been a gift all on its own. As has the amazing outpouring of assistance and love that others have shown to help him complete his mission. Josh asked for many favors along the way, and our friends were so giving and ready to assist. Whether it was Laura frantically running to our house after her incredibly long day to do my make-up for a wedding, Avi spending countless hours on the final graphic design project, Stella showing up at my office with a surprise lunch or Devora and Isha taking us in for Shabbat meals, everyone showed boundless energy and a genuine desire to assist.
In addition, Josh gave himself a budget of about…nothing…since he knows how stressed I always am about money. Had he bought me anything expensive, I would, undoubtedly, have gotten mad at him and ruined the surprise for the day. So, his creativity was even that much more appreciated – knowing that each gift came from the heart, rather than from the pocketbook.
It was also a great lesson for the kids. Each day, they asked, with obvious excitement, "What's the gift today? What's the gift today?" and they were often tasked with delivering the latest item to me with a birthday kiss.
For those who weren’t following our 40 day enjoyment on Facebook…or just for a great recap, here is a rundown o f the many gifts that I received. They were all perfectly thought-out, tailor-made for me and my needs, and full of unending creativity and love.
You are simply the best, Josh. What more can I say?
The gifts included: a rice cooker for the rice-burner (me), an apron for the messy chef, a pedicure, 2 rose soaps, bath moisturizer, body cream, movie night, dinner during the week cooked by Josh, Eshet Chayal song sung Shabbat day by all the kids, a Shabbat skit on the parsha, an entire Shabbat weekend that Josh cooked, two weeks of Shabbat meals out (thank you Levins, Levines and Esses families), portraits at the Shermans (thanks Mendel and the Shermans), a challah cover, a plata cover, a new outfit (that I didn’t buy yet), a picture mouse pad, a canteen covered with pictures, a flip book for me to brag about the kids, a tasting night for Jeff’s wedding (thanks Jeff), the full first season of Big Love (thanks Sarah), make-up done for a wedding (thanks Laura!), a necklace, a breakfast meal, a pita making afternoon, teas from the Shuk (thanks Sharon!), lunch delivery at work (thanks Stella!), flowers twice, new pajamas, shopping at the shuk, a shiur about Shavuot (thanks Sally) and of course, the final, amazing, photo collage (hats off to Avi).
With all of the excitement each day, I haven’t had time to focus on the impending wrinkles or on what it means to actually be 40. Hopefully, I’ll remain distracted by the love and attention I’ve received for a few more months, before I have to wake-up to the inevitable signs of aging.