Today I'm taking a moment away from my regular book posts to share a few thoughts on age and birthdays. Yes, today is my birthday. I was born a long time ago in a small hospital where the dad's paced in the hallways, awaiting the news. A nice size (8 pounds), I never remembered much of those early days. Thank goodness my parents saw fit to take a million photos and home movies. But once I grew up, my thoughts about birthdays evolved. See for yourself!
A Passage of Time…
Birthdays.. the word conjures up memories of balloons, cake and pin the tail on the donkey (weren’t those games always lame?). As a child, birthdays were second in importance of holidays. Only Christmas was more important. You would agonize over which friends to invite and what to put on your wish list.
Parents plan for these parties like a general planning for war. Each party needs to be different and better than last years (or the little girl’s down the street). I remember the year my daughter wanted a pool party. Her birthday is in May- not exactly pool weather in Michigan! So we rented two rooms at a local hotel and had our party there to my daughter’s delight and her friend’s envy!
As you get older, birthdays change. You dream of breakfast in bed, your favorite dinner (in a restaurant- not cooking it yourself!), and the PERFECT gift. Quickly this fantasy fades. Reality sets in and birthday just becomes another day. You still have laundry to do and bills to pay. It only takes one or two years to understand that birthdays are very different now that you are an adult and certainly as a mom. My first birthday after getting married was a shocker. Not only my husband forgot but my family did too! Only after listening to my crying for hours, did my husband pull a frozen pie out of the freezer, put candles on it, and sing happy birthday.
Some adults fear and dread their coming birthdays because they mark another year closer to old age and death. They fight getting older. Just go to the make-up isle of any store to see that. The cosmetics industry makes tons of money off that fear. I remember that my mom never would admit her true age. She would tell everyone (each and every year) that this was her 25th birthday. We weren’t quite that gullible. We would tease her about WHICH 25th birthday this one was.
What do we really celebrate with birthdays? The name says it all! We should celebrate the day we came into the world rather than a number! Just ask any mom and they can recall in detail, the day their child was born (much to the horror of women who haven’t given birth). I do recommend not asking a brand new mom- she may have a painful perception! I believe that parents set out with good intentions to celebrate the birth of their child each year. But somewhere down the line, it becomes a competition or a death march.
Happy Birthday to me and I'm happy to have had the years with my mom. Birthdays were a special time. Now I get to celebrate them with some of these amazing people! Now I've heard that cake calories don't count today... so have some with me!
*only the photos in the slide show are real photos of me and my loved ones.
Musings from Michigan