Recently, my birthday passed but for years now I’ve just not been a birthday person at all.
Occasionally, growing up (as my ponderous tye-dye free-thinking self), I would consider – along with saving the manatees – the idea that perhaps birthdays should be about mothers, not kids. After all, the mother is the one who brought about the birth – the kid didn’t do much but exist. Shouldn’t the mom get to stuff herself with cake?
Once I went to the lengths of giving my mom a nice card on my birthday to see if my point came across. Surely it was appreciated; anything I wrote down on paper was (and still is) appreciated by my mother. And I assume every other mom would agree (especially with cake involved) but it just doesn’t happen that way.
So as my birthday passed a little while ago, I again considered this with introspection, only this time, I really did appreciate what my dear mother went through on that day nearly three decades ago. Dear, dear mother.
Sure, our childbirth experiences have been fairly different so far. And postnatal, we’re not doing everything exactly the same. But I thought about it longer and harder than I have in other years, and by god, did I make a painful mess for her the day I was born.
And then there was that day almost 5 months ago when I gave someone else their original birthday; I sure remember that day – word for word, detail for detail – better than my own.
So I’m still not a birthday person in September. But in April, I’ll forever be celebrating someone else’s.