. . . I turn thirty-three.
12 years ago, I turned 21. 12 yeas ago this time I was behaving badly with college friends in someone’s parent’s house, while those parents were out of town. The next day we saw twelve bands at 104 fest in Hartford.
20 years ago, I turned 13. I got a windbreaker that was black and fluorescent pink and green. My mom took me out of school early that day and brought me to Red Lobster for lunch.
8 years ago, when I turned 25, I went up to VT with my new boyfriend to see my favorite band play at Nectars.
27 years ago, when I turned 6, my whole family went to Chuckee Cheese to celebrate the ten Bernier birthdays in May.
10 years ago just about this time, I was at Ted’s. I looked at the bartender and said “I turn 23 in ten minutes, I graduate in three days, I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, and my boyfriend is about to break up with me. Can I have a shot of tequila?” He, bless his heart, gave me a plastic beer cup a third of the way full.
5 years ago, I turned 28, I had finished student teaching, was two days from graduating graduate school, and two weeks from getting married.
29 years ago, I turned 4, my aunt had balloons delivered by a clown to my house. When I reached for the door to go into the house I let them go.
4 years ago, I turned 29, I got flowers delivered to me at school from my husband, it made me blush. We stayed home that night because we couldn’t go out, or the foster dog we were keeping would freak out.
3 years ago, I turned 30, I had a three-month old.
Last year I turned 32, I was chaperoning prom, and my students got me a cake, and had the whole room sing me happy birthday. Oh, and I was 36 weeks pregnant.
Tomorrow I’m going out to breakfast by-myself, where I will read the whole newspaper from cover to cover, and do the crossword in pen. Then maybe I’ll get a pedicure. I’m going to have lunch with all my boys, and then the babysitters will come and feed the kids dinner, and put them to bed. Then Russ and I are going out. I will whisper to the bartender, “I turned 33 today. I am a fairly decent high school teacher, a good mama, I have a great marriage, and I know exactly what I’m doing in life. Can I have a shot of a tequila?”