The celebratory shed

Paula Tessier
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Every one of us has that one special day each year that is intended to celebrate your existence on this planet: your birthday.

There was a time when I honestly wanted a little fanfare for my birth celebration.

It is, after all, the one day of the year that’s your special day.

Why shouldn’t those nearest and dearest put forward a little extra effort?

Last weekend I turned the ripe old age of 45. Because work is so busy these days, I actually almost forgot that my birthday was pending.

The men in our house, however, can certainly be relied upon to remind me that I’m getting old.

My birthday fell on a Friday, the perfect day to make plans and really celebrate if one was so inclined.

Well that morning found me at my home office desk at 6:30 in the morning.

There were a few birthday calls, certainly messages and, thanks to social media, literally hundreds of people were kind enough to send along a greeting.

It seems that Facebook can sometimes make a person feel pretty special.

For the first time ever, each of our three sons presented me with their own card with a personal message written inside.

It was lovely!

All a mother wants is heartfelt words from her offspring.

Don’t think I don’t realize that hubby was the catalyst for this new found thoughtfulness, but I happily took it.

The day progressed with much tea to get me through all the tasks that needed to be completed.

As work was winding down though, hubby, ever so gently, suggested I might want to shower and get cleaned up a little, maybe wash my hair and change out of my sweats.

Well after nearly 11 hours at my desk, all I really wanted to do was take a nap.

But it seemed there were other plans.

Now there’s no one who likes a quarter-chicken dinner more than me, so when it was suggested a family meal would be enjoyed at a local venue, I was enticed enough to get cleaned up.

And because I had a swanky evening planned with my lady friends for the next evening, the lure of extra dipping sauce for my home fries was pleasing indeed.  

Turns out hubby planned a family meal with the boys, then an evening out on the town for him and I, after the kids had given the obligated amount of time to their mother.

What? Go out afterward? On this exceptionally long and busy work day?

As lovely as the idea sounded in theory, once my belly was full and we were back at our house scarfing into tea and chocolate cake, there was another great lure: the lure of the couch with a blankie and my pup cuddled at my feet.

That is exactly what happened.

I told hubby that all I needed was a short “power nap” in hopes that he’d buy the idea long enough to get settled and comfy himself, making the idea of going back out a little less appealing for him as well.

My evil plan worked. Even though he spoke more than once about where we might go for our night out, and while he encouraged me to “not get too comfortable” on the couch, he was getting more and more relaxed as well. It was perfect.

A short time later our handy-dandy neighbour texted and indicated there was music playing and wings cooking in his shed.

The invitation is always open when there is weekend shed action, and since it didn’t require any more effort than hauling on a pair of shoes and uncorking a bottle, the shed it was for the rest of my birthday, and I couldn’t have been happier.

If someone had told me 10 years ago that my idea of a great birthday celebration was a meal in a family restaurant and a toast with friends in the shed, I would have thought they were nuts.

But there is something wonderful that comes with age; the ability to know what’s really important, and the wisdom to let it happen.

Email Paula Tessier at

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