My husband and I were an exercise in opposites attract. Where he hated birthday celebrations, I will always celebrate my birthday. I have more reasons to celebrate than he ever had reasons not to, which is why we always celebrated his, too!
Although one month and one day after Christmas, most are worried with credit card bills of too much spent during the holidays, first of the year blues and colds…not I. I am ready to celebrate! Why?
First and foremost, I survived another year!
With a shoeful of children, my own businesses, a menagerie, being a widowed momma and a few more grey hairs, I make it through another year. I see it not as a race to prove my mortality, but as a triumph! What better reason is there to have a party?
Next, I am still alive.
This may seem redundant, but truly it is not. My health issues, and my good fortune not to have as severe ones as my siblings or my late husband, make the survival from one birthday to the next worthy of celebration.
Then, I am grateful.
My parents were willing to bring me into a huge family with a matching sized heart, albeit with memories of Swiss cheese. The cards and emails I receive arrive in streaming fashion as one of my nine siblings remembers my birthday has just passed and forwards the “y didn’t u remind me? o.O” text message around.
Where’s the box?
After that, a package from my mother arrives, perfectly on time, ten days after my birthday. The box is filled with presents for my children which I will enjoy with them. After all, birthdays are about family bonding.
Get With the Grub!
Ah, the cheesecake! The night of my birthday, I want cheesecake, not some layered confection with an overdose of icing molded into roses, blech. Yes, candles in the cheesecake. Watching the children dig through the drawer to find the right numbered candles is fun. Usually, someone whips out a calculator to see how old I really am.
With the giant cheesecake gone and a few pants unbuttoned, it is time to sprawl on the floor and play. Little ones go to bed with visions of their upcoming birthdays in their heads. Big ones lie on the floor to play (get beaten at) board games with me.
When the house is all quiet, and I snuggle alone into bed, I send the Big Guy a prayer. I quietly tell him, “Thank you for one more year.”
How do you celebrate your birthday? And if not, why not?!
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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