Our Version of Church

After a family trip to the grocery store late this morning we drove by a church on the way home. To be honest, we drove by a bunch of churches. But as we drove by this one in particular I said to Z, “You know how every couple of years you talk about wanting to go to church for the sense of community?” Z, “Yeah.” Me, “Well, last night is my version of church.” Z, “Huh. Yeah. Yes. Yes it is.”

Last night was special because we celebrated Z’s 40th birthday. And it was special because it wasn’t special at all.

First the birthday stuff. Z is flying off to Japan for a month next Sunday. On his real 40th birthday he will be in Kyoto where he and the class he’ll be co-teaching will go to a fish market and then back to a kitchen to learn how to make sushi. Pretty fucking sweet.

So I decided to surprise him with a birthday not on his birthday. He had a quick overnight work trip to NYC on Friday. Our friends came over early on Saturday morning to watch the boys as I did party prep. They decorated the backyard with cheesy 40s and crepe paper and a Star Wars banner that I’d bought. And when he pulled into the driveway we shouted, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” He was surprised and I was tickled pink. I suck at secrets and wanted to tell him all week. We did presents and I broke the news that he’d have to help out as the party prep continued. He was a total sport about it.

backyard pre party

Waiting for the party to start.

Now for the not special stuff. As it was closing in on party time Z said, “We’d probably be doing this exact thing even if we weren’t celebrating my birthday.” It’s what we do in Syracuse while the weather is nice. We have people over, we cook out, we drink, we laugh, the kids run around, we drink a little more. We’ve found our people. Our kids have friends that they will grow up with. This community is a big part of why we want to stay here. And I can’t express how grateful we both are.

z 40 cake

Most weekends I don’t make a cake. And it was a serendipitous coincidence that the party fell on Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You).

z cookies

When I found the Z cookie cutter years ago I couldn’t believe it. They make a cookie cutter of my husband? How cool is that?

blowing out the candles

Blowing out the candles with the kiddos. The paper hat…our first summer here the nutjob decided he’d make a paper hat and wear it around the yard. It drove me crazy. He made me one last summer and I humored him by wearing it a bit. I swallowed my dislike and make him a special one for his big birthday.

So yes, our church rocks. The food is pretty great, we get to drink, the kids can make as much noise as they want, and it is right out our back door.

birthday hat

Happy 40th, Baby. I sure do love you.

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4 thoughts on “Our Version of Church

  1. I am loving this so hard. Probably because yesterday we went to the zoo instead of church (though we haven’t been at church since Easter, and before that, Christmas!). It is so lovely to just spend some time with friends and family and relax and feel community and enjoy the sunshine and FEEL THE LOVE.

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