Birthdays as a kid are magical. The strawberry cake with sprinkles, 20 friends all showing up in party dresses, and the house decorated in Strawberry Shortcake. As a kid, I counted down the days to my birthday. When it arrived, I jumped out of bed early in the morning, taking in every moment of my own special day. And then, somewhere along the way, birthdays became a day I went to lunch with a friend, and received a card in the mail. It felt like it should be a special day, but never really lived up to the expectations I had. Until this year, which was the best birthday I have had since that Strawberry Shortcake party as a 5-year-old.
I had dropped several non-specific hints of what I was hoping to do, but 6 days before my birthday, nothing was planned yet. To be fair, Scottie is very good at making my birthday a big deal, but he isn't always good at guessing what I'd like. One year he planned a surprise party, not knowing I feel horribly awkward being the center of attention. Nope - I simply wanted to go on a date with Scottie. And I really wanted to go to the Symphony. I made comments about how great it looked, left advertisements on the table, and suggested we might go. Finally, 6 days before my birthday, I tried the direct approach. I told Scottie simply, "All I want for my birthday is to see the Cirque du Soleil perform with the Symphony." Within 20 minutes, he had called and bought tickets. It's amazing what happens when I simply say what I am thinking, and bypass the subtle messages.
On Saturday, we went out on the town for my birthday-date. I ate chocolate chip cookies before I had dinner, and we walked through Temple Square to see the lights. We headed to Abravanel Hall for the Cirque de la Symphony. I had seen clips of Cirque du Soleil, but this was far and beyond anything I had hoped for. My eyes were glued to the performers on the stage - except for those moments when I looked at Scottie in disbelief, asking him repeatedly, "How do they do that?!" Every performer was amazing, and the night took me back to my childhood. I was a 5-year-old again at the circus, watching the acrobats flying through the air, the juggler catching multiple rings, and the contortionist performing feats I had never imagined. And all this while the symphony played Christmas music. It was truly magical - the only thing missing was some cotton candy.
(Here is a clip of Cirque de la Symphony that is similar - although it's not quite so magical on this little video as it was that night.)