As someone who grew up feeling very close to her family, I remember my first birthday away from home as a freshman in college. I awoke knowing I wouldn’t walk downstairs and find the dining room table decorated with the Happy Birthday placemats that my mom always took out of storage for every family member’s birthday. There wouldn’t be birthday pancakes. No homemade cake. I didn’t dwell on it too much, but I remember feeling a little sad.
My birthday always fell during finals week in college and I had tests and studying on my mind. When I got a call from Ryan saying he had a birthday surprise for me, I didn’t think too much of it. We started dating less than three months before my birthday and were still in that awkward “Are we officially a couple?” stage, so I wasn’t expecting a gift. I figured he planned a casual dinner for us at our favorite sushi place near campus or something of the sort.
(Throwback pic! College kids!)
When I pulled up to Ryan’s apartment early that evening, he met me at my car and handed me a card. I tucked my finger under the envelope flap and opened the card to find the first clue of a birthday scavenger hunt.
I was shocked.
He had me drive all over town to spots that meant something to us as a new couple, collecting gifts along the way. I was blown away.
When his birthday rolled around that October, I knew I wanted to make him feel as special and adored as he made me feel. I sneaked into his apartment, decorated his room, baked his favorite cake and planned a fun date. I remember wrapping his presents on the floor of my bedroom, hoping he would like everything. Hoping he would feel special and loved.
And then I realized something. This is amazing.
(The night of our engagement)
Before Ryan I felt like I was always the one giving the love. Always pouring my heart out and showing how much I cared. It didn’t really register at the time, but looking back, I realize now that I would anxiously wait for birthdays or holidays because I knew that I’d get a card and that was one of the only times I heard how much I meant to someone.
Ryan showed me what it meant to feel adored. To feel loved. To feel like a priority. I wanted to make sure he felt the same. It was like a love challenge!
Every year when Ryan’s birthday rolls around, I am filled with the same desire to make him feel special.
I hope you feel special today. I love you very, very much. Happy 29th birthday!
Question of the Morning
- What is something that someone did for you that surprised you and made you feel special?
Please share your stories! I’m in the mood for warm fuzzies today.