Blog No. 134
Like today. As you are reading this, I’m at work, but it’s my birthday. I’m not upset about being stuck at work. I don’t think it’s an adult thing either, where fun and celebration are less important that work and obligation. I just don’t care. While growing up, birthdays were a really big deal. We were very close to our grandparents, so not only did we have a big celebration at home, with dinner, cake, presents, and fun, but we would get to do it all over again a couple days later at my grandparents house.
I feel very lucky that I had the chance to be so close with my grandparents. Not only did I get the chance to be extra spoiled, but I had a second home and another set of adults I could turn to and learn from. Birthdays at home were big, but birthdays at my grandparents were huge. We would get to ask for anything we wanted for dinner (some memorable ones being roast beef, my favorite, and big steaks, a choice of my brother), we got more presents, and my grandpa made his special cake made with real whipped cream and tons of fresh strawberries. Even if it was a sibling’s birthday, good times were had at my grandparent’s house.
Starting in my high school days (conveniently with the friends I made there) and running through most of my 20s, my birthdays were big shared events. A group of my friends share a string of birthdays starting in late May and ending in mid June. Due to proximity, we found it would be fun to have one big event for everyone. A few times it worked really well, and other times it was lackluster, but the tradition stood for a long time. I fell out of touch with some of those people (and back in touch since then) so the party shrunk, but there has always been a sense of comradery and lots of snarky jokes this time of year. Running gags and inside jokes continue to this day.
I love those days and I think about them this time of year. My life has changed drastically since then though, and I don’t really strive for that kind of big event anymore. Some people need to have a big day, which is cool. Everyone deserves to feel special once in a while. I don’t like to be the center of attention (not all the time at least). If I had the chance to have a day just for me, it would involve sleeping in, a big breakfast, lots of alone time, and maybe a trip to the movies. Birthdays aren’t just about the birthday boy though, it’s also about his mother. Last year I pushed really hard to do nothing for my birthday, and my mother relented and I got it. This year we are having a nice quiet family pizza night, so I think I can handle it. Plus my mom has always been a wonderful baker and I haven’t had good cake in far too long.