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Spidey Steve the birthday boy.

Spidey Steve the birthday boy.

I’m not sure when my perspective on birthdays changed, but it definitely has changed.  Maybe it was when I became a husband and suddenly it wasn’t so much what I received as a present that was important, but in the way it was given.  This sounds cliché, a phrase that has been well used and abused, but it really is the thought that counts.  Any more, especially since my children entered the picture, even a present is not necessary to make me happy.. unless it’s bike stuff, of course.  Then I am ecstatic.

Oh yeah, maybe I ought to mention that today is my birthday.  Woo hoooooooo!

And I have to say this might be one of the best in a long time.  Why?  Friends.  Family.  It seems like this year has been one where so many people have done little things that make me feel special.  They are thinking of me and that says so so so much.

The picture above is what I found yesterday morning on my desk when I arrived at work.  My friends Laura and Erika, the culprits who gave me the toilet coffee mug filled with chocolate covered pretzels for Christmas, call me Spiderman since the spandex I wear to work when I bike reminds me of an old, chubby version of Spidey.  Honestly, it was a special gift to me, their humor.. and the thought that went behind it.  In the afternoon they snuck up behind me and covered me with Spiderman silly string.

What is special about that besides them actually doing that was knowing that they have planning this for a while.  They are friends who appreciate me for my humor, little sisters who bring a smile to me every day.  I love those two girls like family.  And I can’t wait to retaliate.

On the way to work, I stopped by my favorite Panera.  My friends there had a little party prepared for me.  The girls behind the counter came out and gave me hugs and kisses on the cheek (thanks, Lilly and Maricela).  A large group gathered in the middle of the dining room, eating crumb coffee cake from St. Louis Cardinal paper plates.  They all had signed a card with messages to me, one with a print of the day’s baseball standings.

Special.  People thinking of me.  I’m not going to get a car or a TV or a new bicycle.  I have those things.  But I feel special.  I feel loved.

OK, time to say good bye and head to lunch with my family.  Once again… special.  They usually don’t make this kind of time for me!