Voicemail Happiness

Birthdays are a big deal when you're a kid. We may not remember when we turned 1, but our parents probably do. Turning 5 was another milestone, and you knew you were cool when you turned double-digits. When I turned 13 and became a teenager, I actually wrote a note to my parents apologizing in advance for whatever drama my teenage years might hold. (Who does that!?)

Turning 15 meant you got a learner's permit (mine came with a typo that made me 24 instead).

Turning 16 meant you could finally drive without your dad in the seat next to you, grinding his teeth every time you let the clutch out too quickly (or not quickly enough). (Pst! Love you Doad! :)

Then you turn 18. 21. And—30.

Then, you just turn... wait? How old am I again? I'm lucky if I actually remember my birthday when it arrives...so to figure out how old I am, I usually have to resort to math. That—or ponder the age my siblings are, and then add the correct number of years. :)

So this year, I've done the match, and apparently, I just turned 32. I'm grateful for all the Facebook posts, cards, twitter/text messages, and—voice mails. Particularly these three:

My mom was the first to call today, which makes me smile. How sweet is her voice? I love her to pieces. (And now you know that my parents call me "Pumpkin.")

Bday Singing from Mom (mp3)

This one is from my aunt. I love it when she (and the rest of my family) calls me "Kharita." (This is, of course, in addition to "Pumpkin," which is reserved exclusively for my parents' use.) My aunt was followed by mi Abuela (grandmother)—who calls me Princesa (as well as "Kharita) and speaks to me in Spanish. I treasure it. She also sent me a card, like she has every year for as long as I can remember. Her handwriting is impeccable and instantly recognizable.

Bilingual Birthday Wishes (mp3)

Then, my brother-in-law, Adis, called and put little Haris on the phone. The sound of his sweet little voice saying, "Happy birthday Khara!" made my heart melt.

Birthday Wishes from Haris (mp3)

That was so much fun. I'm already looking forward to 33! :)