Today’s thirty-something birthday was never really about me,
I don’t love jam smushed on my pillow, or crumbs between my sheets,
A quiet cup of coffee would have been so much preferred,
But you’d made a special breakfast so, of course, I deferred.
Then we went to the kitchen so I could find your mess,
Before helping you put on your best “Mommy’s birthday!” dress.
You were hungry for a snack, which you wanted to be special,
So I used a fancy plate for your yogurt-covered pretzels.
Then I cleaned up again while you watched Thomas the Tank,
When you offered me a gluey card, I couldn’t say “no thanks.”
We baked I cake I didn’t want ’cause you wanted me to have it,
And I read to you that book about the “moon and back” Rabbit.
After nap-time and some laundry, off to the park for “fun,”
I bought myself a latte—it got cold before I was done.
We ate my favourite dinner, but made a grilled cheese just for you.
I got some ketchuppy kisses when I cleaned up your spilled juice.
Then came your gifts, you’d picked them with enthusiastic care,
I acted really pleased about earrings I’ll never wear.
My birthday’s much more special when I’m spending it with you,
But for next year may I request a glass of wine? Or even two?
With all the stickiness you bring, all the crumbs and jam,
Cleaning up behind you is now a part of who I am.
‘Cause as I tidy, one more time, all the gift paper you’ve torn,
I can’t help but be thankful for the day that you were born.