A Perfect 10

OK, it’s my birthday and I can be forgiven a little conceitedness, can’t I? For today, October 10, has the lovely and blessed 10-10 balance, something I’ve always thought makes me the perfect Libra.

Well, truly I’m not that taken with myself; I just enjoy the symmetry. And I’ve let it be known far and wide that today starts the countdown to THE most perfect of days, 10-10-10, which takes place one year from today. At ten minutes after 10 PM, of course. Well, considering that my partying years are long past, let’s make it 10:10 AM, OK?

We’ve been enduring these little date-celebrations for some time now; September 9 was the latest, August 8 the year before, and so on. Heck, even my husband and I got on the bandwagon; we got married on March 3. He claimed it would help him remember our anniversary forevermore and thus ensuring his Primo Husband status, something he dearly  hopes to maintain. Good man.

Not that I’m overly obsessive about horoscopes — honestly, I rarely pay attention to them — but there’s something magical, in a low-grade way, about being a Libra and having such a symmetrical birthday. Add the year ’10 to that? Nir-vahhhhn-na.

Balance has been in short order this week; Kristoff, as was previously documented, contracted and suffered through a bout of H1N1. And then we all watched and waited to see who would be coming down with it next. “Quarantine” was the Word of the Week as both older children chafed at being relegated to the upstairs as we tried to make sure the un-protected by Tamiflu Trassie stayed far away from predatory germs.

That goal seemed shattered at 2 am Friday morning, when said Trassie awakened with a fever; by morning I was convinced he’d been smote by swine. As quickly as I could, I made an appointment with the pediatrician, a new/old doctor that we already love. (He’d been my pediatrician 16 years ago with my first child; I was forced to leave his practice when my employer mandated use of HMOs and his practice didn’t accept them.)

So we all met Dr. Wilkes again, and are happy about our decision to switch.  It also rather threw aging into sharp relief; as we reconnected, he asked me how long it had been since we’d seen one another. He insisted that he looked just the same; of course I agreed, and said of course I did too. I reminded him that the LAST time he saw me I was in the throes of childbirth; the pediatric practice I had at the time shared on-call duties with his, and when Christopher made his entrance, a pediatrician was needed due to some meconium present in the amniotic fluid.  No, I’m not going into what that means; you know how to Google as well as I do.

He allowed as to how he didn’t precisely remember me on that auspicious event; after all, one woman in labor looks pretty much like the next, from the medical profession’s point of view. I won’t elaborate  on THAT point either.

But back to the reason we were there; Trassie doesn’t have swine flu; Dr. Wilkes pronounced him the possessor of an ear infection. Antibiotics? Check. But when his fever spiked later that day and he was hauled back to the tolerant doctor by Tras (I was at work because of my magazine deadline! arg!) he was found to be N-O on the H1N1 again, though beset with some virus or another. After a rather sweaty night, he’s much better today.

So birthdays, and aging, and the passage of time, have been on my mind this week, as I negotiated the hazardous waters of parenthood, illness, magazine deadlines and the looming of one’s late 40s.

Despite that — and the fact that they tend to be something you avoid dwelling on as the years start zooming by —birthdays are fun nevertheless, and I always enjoy mine. I’ve got a loving family — beset by illness this year though they may be — who like to indulge in mild festivities at any opportunity.

Perhaps I’ll make a loaf of bread this afternoon with my special honey-vanilla butter to thank them for the happiness they bring me.

And since it’s Saturday, there’s laundry to be done, floors to be vaccuumed, bathrooms to be cleaned and a week’s worth of clutter to be swooped up and dealt with before another week gathers strength and decimates whatever tidiness I’ve been able to bring forth.

But I’ve just been informed that a family dinner out is in my future, if everyone proves to be well enough by suppertime.

In the meantime, mark your calendars: Party at my house the next time this most Perfect 10 of days rolls around. Bo Derek ain’t got nuttin on me.

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