By Kristin van Ogtrop
Updated January 22, 2015
Scott & Zoë

Yesterday was my birthday. It was wonderful: The weather in New York was beautiful, my two older boys made me...interesting cards (including one from Middle, using the letters of my first name to start each line, that began “Kind of a control freak....”), I got a great homemade breakfast (scrambled eggs with cinnamon? A novel idea, although I’m not sure I’m going to be serving it to guests), and we just mostly hung around the house and enjoyed one another’s company. Middle also began his full-court press to get a hamster. I have been living blissfully hamster-free for about four years. Even though we have all of the hamster paraphernalia still in the basement, I’m not sure I want to go back to the hamster way of life. But more on that on another day, I’m sure.

Anyway, after dinner I found myself doing what I am often doing on a Sunday night: vacuuming the kitchen floor. I tried for a minute to feel a teeny bit sorry for myself, given that Princess was vacuuming on her birthday, until I reminded myself that I actually really like to vacuum. This is how the conversation went:

Me: “Isn’t this sad? Vacuuming on your birthday. You should be lying in a hot tub filled with rose petals instead!”

Myself: “Who are you kidding?”

Me: “Huh?”

Myself: “You love to vacuum. You do not need to vacuum. Get over it!”

And that was the end of the conversation. Because I do love to vacuum, and I don’t care if I’m doing it on my birthday. First of all, I love my vacuum cleaner almost as much as I love my children, perhaps because it was almost as expensive as my children are turning out to be. And vacuuming is noisy, so no one gets to ask you questions or demand anything of you while the machine is on, because SORRY YOU CAN’T HEAR THEM, SO GO ASK YOUR FATHER. Vacuuming is cleaning without water involved, and so you don’t need to put more lotion on your dry hands afterward. And there’s really very little that’s as satisfying as rolling the vacuum cord back up. It’s all just so neat.

So I think I may have discovered a new birthday ritual, and I’m sure I can turn this into some sort of a movement. Open presents, blow out the candles, get out the vacuum. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?