Tuesday, December 6, 2011

evolution of birthdays

it's funny, you know.  the evolution of celebrating birthdays.  when growing up, one can live in a child-like bubble of knowing there's a 'big deal' to be made out of the whole day. 

while all of my childhood memories wouldn't give warm fuzzies, i do remember a time or two when mom would check us out of school early on our special day {or on the last day of school}.  oh, how i loved hearing the intercom buzz my teacher with instructions to send "hmama" to the office for check-out.  being free from that stuffy place was the. best. gift. ever.  even if it was only 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the class.

i remember a relay race with two lines of friends.  it was our goal to throw adult clothes on top of our kid clothes, run around the yard and be back to pass the adult clothes to the next person in line.

i remember a surprise-sweet-16 birthday.  mom had arranged all of my friends from church to be at our house when i returned from a shopping trip with a friend.  completely unexpected.

mom always did a great job pulling something special together for our birthdays.  my brother's birthday the day before mine.  her's, the day after.  yet, our days somehow managed to feel... individual.

i remember re-enacting the wire hanger scene from mommy dearest with my mother for all of my slumber party friends.  so scary, it was downright funny.  they loved it.  i think my mom liked it, too. ;) 

mom has always had a flair for the dramatic.  i think that's part of what made her so good at pulling gatherings together, during a season of my childhood. 

i'm not a party mom.  i wish i were.  sometimes, i feel like it's just not in my personality to play hostess to a house, filled with other people's lil' children.  please tell me i'm not alone in this.  it will make me feel better, anyway.  and it is my birthday today.  no pressure. 

we usually tell our girls they can have a big party, or a big gift.  big parties are hosted at other locations.  that, i can do.  woot.  most times, they want the gift and one on one time with a friend.  i can do that, too.  woot-woot.  aaaaand, we take a day off of school for birthdays.  including mom's.  woots all around!


years later, ladies from the institutional church we served would take me out to dinner on my special day.  they took great joy in seeing the restaurant do their birthday production, at my expense. it was all in fun. time would tell me that many of those ladies were not true friends.  difficult times have a way of separating the girls from the women. i'm better for it, really.

hubby, bless his heart, is much more gifted at this birthday planning gig than i am.  last year, he had arranged for our best friends to meet us for a wonderful evening on the boardwalk.

today, life has been filled with getting things ready for an online class the girls are taking... about the victorian christmas era. dance class. dress rehearsal at theater.  i really wanted to go to the chiropractor.  mama is hurtin'. age talkin'. sorry.

now that i'm all grown up {hold your laughter}, expectations are not what they used to be.  i no longer live in a bubble.  i realize, often times, the celebration comes from within.  you create your own party.  even if that is stirring a heart of thankfulness by remembering the real blessings in life.

you know... when your kids and hubby sing happy birthday to you. hubs whispers sweet nothings into your ear before he leaves for work... "i changed the litter-box for you."  gets me every time.  sets birthday cards on the table and then starts the dishwasher, too.  

love deposits. ;)
those are the best gifts of all.

oh... and there's nothing wrong with tossin' the adult clothes for kid clothes every once in a while.  metaphorically speaking.  i plan to do that, too.  hubs owes me a date night, yes? ;)

if you need me, look for the lady walking with a crook in the neck, wearing the #1 MOM! pin.  because my kids think i could totally rock a presidency.  you gotta love the cuteness in that.


  1. Happy Birthday friend!! I understand the evolution. It took me a few years to get over the "it's MY day" way of thinking. And we actually never had big days when I was growing up. Humph. But no school is the best present for me! And no cooking. I'm pretty easy to please now. :)

  2. Happy happy birthday! I do believe you are fabulously loved, which is a pretty good gift :)

  3. Happy Birthday!!! You just crack me up. Ok..I hate doing parties too. But..I didn't always...I used to love to be surrounded by people doing things that I had planned. Unfortunately for Kei, not so much now. Now I love doing fun, cool things for HER, just not her and her 10 closest friends :p

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I can't tell you how much I would love to take you out for coffee for your birthday and give you real birthday (((((hugs))))).

    I'm with you on the non-big-party-planner thing. I hope your day just keeps gettin' better and better!

  5. Happy Birthday!! For the record I hate doing the party thing as well. I also busting out laughing at the sweet nothings, my hubby changing the litterbox would totally light my fire! HA!

  6. Happy Birthday! Having birthday parties somewhere else is the bomb! No mess at the house, no clean-up, and a definite end to the party!

  7. oh my! "I changed the litter box for you"! I love it. So, SO true! It really is those things that count!

    I am not a party mom either. It's so weird. I was a pre-school teacher, I teach several programs each week at the library, but pack my house with a bunch of kids...i am stressed beyond belief! The thing is, in a classroom or at the library or with my Sunday school class, I can reprimand, in my house...well, you never know what could happen...and let's just say I know how a group of kids can get...

    Oh, but I truly hope you had an amazing birthday!!!

  8. oh and I love the idea of an intercom asking for "hmama"

  9. Happy Belated Birthday :) LOL @ the litter box, my hubs did that this morning ;)

  10. Happy Birthday to you! Sometimes the best birthdays are filled with small goodness as opposed to big loud celebrations. Hope you enjoyed your day!


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