Today’s my birthday… Yahoo! Party all around… Actually, I’ve never really partied it up for my birthday. Don’t get me wrong, there has ALWAYS been cake and ice cream and presents like any girl wants, but nothing crazy. No surprise parties or epic events on my birthday. No, I take that back- my brother got married on my birthday so we had a big party that year, it just wasn’t for me… (For the record they asked my twelve year old self if that was ok and it was beyond cool!) I do remember my mom throwing an awesome party when I was eight that included me getting a sweet new bike and helmet. Anyway, not too big on the party front and that is really ok. Especially now that I am a ranch wife.
It might be sad to say, but I’ve learned to have low expectations for my birthday. Or at least, I figure that if I set the bar low, it won’t be to hard for The Rancher to manage to rise above, right? Sure, we all tend to shrug off our birthdays as we become adults. Partly because in reality it is a day like all the others with lots of work and responsibility and then its because we don’t want to be reminded that we aren’t as young a we used to be. I’m still young but I am certainly not the young twenty year old self I used to be (and I don’t think I would want to!). But as a rancher’s wife, there is almost a whole new level of pretending-its-not-my-birthday-to-not-be-disappointed-ness.
For me, I kinda blame it on the time of year. Who has a baby in the spring? Me…twice… And obviously my mom. In fact, my poor mother had to negotiate my birth with syncing the cows and AI-ing. If she lived down here, it would have been with branding and turning out instead. Regardless, my birthday doesn’t fit too well in a ranching schedule.
And that’s totally ok.
I get that this time of year is busy and that in so many ways it is outside of our control. So I just set the bar low, take what partying and loving I can get and make the most of it. But today I am finding it a bit comical how sometimes we ranch wives get to celebrate our birthdays.
-Take my friend, for example. She was turning 60, somewhat of a big day. She had her normal stressful and long day of work. Her husband had told her that he had the night all planned out for her birthday (of course, she was totally surprised and totally worried). She gets home to find out that dinner he had planned was actually a promotional dinner put on by an irrigation company! Lucky for him they served prime rib and had cake and ice cream at the end of the night… She just looked on the bright side that she had a nice dinner that she didn’t have to cook, clean or pay for!
-The Rancher is pretty good about making it a good day with the little things. He will tell me to take a long hot shower or to watch my favorite movie. Ya know, inspire me to take it easy. He promises that he will cover dinner (which means we will go to one of the two cafes in Snowville) and make sure there is something to put candles in. He’s no Betty Crocker, but there has never been a disaster in the kitchen. You see, he knows how to approach this. He tells me that when I go grocery shopping just previous to my birthday, to find a cake mix and a tub of frosting and he is good to go! The real issue here is that he has to find time to enter the kitchen to do it. It may be a week later, but he still gets the candles lit!
-I love how he wants to include me in his busy day and makes an extra effort for me on my birthday. The best is when he’ll take the time to stop by and ask if I want to go for a ride with him. Of course, I take every opportunity to get out with my cowboy when he offers. But a ride on my birthday is extra special because he offers to get the gates! What a birthday gift, to sit in the nice comfy truck while he chases the gates. He better be careful, because a girl could come to expect such luxuries!
-There are the birthdays that we decide to go big and occaisionally make it to the big city for dinner or something exciting. But I always know that such a trip isn’t going to be solely centered around me. In fact, its probably not even inspired by my birthday. Most likely, there was some tractor part or medicine or something for the ranch that needed picked up or bought or something that just provided an opportuinity for The Rancher to go big for his little wifey. So rather than exciting birthday shopping we do what I’m sure is equally exciting ranch business.
Birthdays on the ranch can always be hit or miss, and that’s ok. This simple country ranch wife is used to putting the ranch first because without it, we wouldn’t live this life that I truly love. Every day we celebrate the life we live when we get to work and sweat and smile in the sunshine and cool breeze. I don’t need big parties or fancy gifts because this life is the greatest gift. I wouldn’t trade being a ranch wife for anything.
But dear rancher of mine, if you are reading this, I still have some expectations that you remember I have a birthday!