Birthdays According to Preston

This past Thursday was my husband, Preston’s, birthday. I have struggled since we were dating to find out how to make his birthday the kind he would really enjoy. My idea of a great birthday is the kind I had last year. A big party with lots of friends and good food, with nothing in particular planned but great fellowship – and maybe a fun game or two. Preston has always maintained that he would prefer a quiet celebration with just the family. Being the understanding, intuitive wife that I am not, I didn’t quite believe him and thought he was just trying to make things easier on me by not having to plan anything big. I’ve thrown him two big parties before, one a surprise and one that he had a hand in planning. Both of them were huge successes, in my opinion.
However, this time, I didn’t have time to plan anything. We are going out to dinner with his dad and my parents in a week for it, but I hated the idea of the actual day passing without something special to mark it. I’ve also been thinking a lot about “Love Languages”. Preston’s love language is acts of service. So, I decided I would do everything I could to speak his language all day. The kids and I picked up all the toys and things that were laying around our house. (It looked like a Toys’r’us had blown up in there.) I spent a lot of time cleaning our bedroom, putting away clothes, shoes, and the odd toy that wonders in there from time to time. I also put fresh, clean sheets on the bed and turned the sheets down and arranged the pillows that made it so comfortable-looking. I was tempted to crawl into it and take a nap, but there were 3 little ones running around (well, 2 were running, the baby was just lying there watching them). I also turned on the window unit AC that Preston insists on keeping in our room (in case the central AC ever goes out, he says) so that the room would be nice and chilled when he got home from a hot day at work. I had the boys make birthday cards for him, while I prepared the kind of dinner I knew he liked.
When Preston got home, the boys jumped out (they were hiding so that they could jump out and surprise him) and yelled happy birthday and handed him their cards. I greeted him the way a wife should greet her husband every day – especially one like mine who has been standing in harm’s way to keep the rest of us safe – with a warm hug and lingering kiss. I must confess I don’t always do that. I need to get better at that. While he was relaxing, and dinner was cooking, the boys and I made a cake – a vanilla one because that’s his favorite. He didn’t know about the cake, so we were able to surprise him with it after supper. We lit the candles and sang “Happy Birthday”. (by the way, it’s so much more fun to sing that song with 2 very enthusiastic boys singing along with you than to sing it by yourself.) I had noticed throughout the evening that Preston’s smile was getting bigger and bigger. After we enjoyed our cake, he thanked me for the best birthday ever! I was shocked. “What about the surprise party or the party when you turned 40?!” I exclaimed. He said, “Those were nice, but this is what I have always wanted for my birthday, just a quiet celebration with my family.”
Well, it’s only taken 11 years of marriage, but I have finally figured out how to make Preston’s birthdays happy ones.

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Birthdays According to Preston

  1. Aww, how sweet! Sounds like ya’ll had a great time!! 🙂

  2. Whew! Love languages really are important, huh? My dad’s a little like Preston; he’d prefer something small too. A simple card letting him know how much I love him always makes him cry. That’s how I know I did well. Glad Preston liked his special party!

  3. Jon is the same way! I’m glad you have a blog now:)

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