I’m told that, when I was one, I had an awesome birthday. I was trying to walk across the floor and fell into my birthday cake and just dug right in and began to eat it. It must’ve been a helluva good time. Unfortunately, I don’t remember any of this. To this day, Mom regrets allowing me to get so wasted.

Birthdays are carefree and fun when you’re under five, because at that age, nobody thinks it’s such a laugh riot to put up black balloons to remind you that every step you take from that point on only inches you that much closer to your grave, and in my case anyway, the eternal flames of hell.

I just turned 40 this past week. Nobody in the family got ballsy enough to put up so much as one black balloon. Instead I got an ice cream cake from Coldstone creamery, a bunch of money and some wonderful items that will enable me in an out-of-control knitting binge.

The big news there is that after my holiday knitting is done, I will be attempting my first sweater.

I am slightly intimidated by the prospect, but I hope that spending nearly $80 on yarn will put the necessary fire in me to get some stitches on the needles and knit the thing. I’m still looking for a pattern that will suit the yarn I have and be simple enough for me to get through without too many anxiety attacks over the instructions.

What REALLY scares me is not the time and effort or even the seaming up – which I do suck at but which I will do very slowly and eventually get right – what really scares the hell out of me is the fact that people who write sweater patterns are human and they can make mistakes. I don’t mind finding a mistake in a hat pattern, ’cause chances are I’ll notice something is screwy with the hat pattern before I even start it, and if I’ve started the hat, big deal, I’ll either rip out the knitting or figure out how to adjust it. I’m not so confident with the sweater patterns. They seem long and potentially mistake-ridden, and I don’t wanna find out that I’m doing something absolutely the wrong way eight skeins into a project.

Oh well, I’ll find the strengh somehow. I’m what’s called a “process knitter” anyway, which means basically that I don’t care as much about the finished product as I do all the stages of getting to it.

Getting there is half the fun.

Speaking of fun, my wonderful daughter whose quote of the week is “Why don’t you just go back and kick him in his old balls?”* will be turning 13 in a couple of days. She is the love of my life and I hope she always remembers that. Much like people who write patterns, I make mistakes, but in this case, it’s all about the product, and she’s turning into such a lovely person. She really does care about other people, and the world would be a better place if there were a lot more like her.

Happy birthday, Sweetheart. Nobody comes close to you.

*There’s a funny story behind that, but I’m not up to telling it tonight.

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