Birthdays. Woohoo. Celebrations of life, welcoming another new year with an openness to the possibilities ahead. A day put aside each year to honour and commemorate the joy of your birth many moons ago (many many many moons ago). Okay, got it. Oops my bad. I forgot about the babies born on Feb. 29- leapling babies. Hey you get to be a kid for so much longer as you have technically a birthday every four years. So if someone says grow up or act your age or whatever ‘adult’ kind of ping on your behavior…you are acting your age. Like turning 31 and being a leapling, you are sort of around 7 or 8 years old. Wow! Sounds like a plan to me.
I do love birthday celebrations…at least for other people that is…not so much for me. I do not mind my birthday and age turning, it is what it is….seasoned 60; and getting better I hope. I kind of choke up and slither in my seat so to speak when on the receiving end of kindness and goodness from others. Not really into being the focus. I am more of a background, wallpaper (or wallflower), blend in with the furniture kind of person. I am a giver, delighting in the arranging and planning. Love it. My daughters tell me to get over it as they were raised in birthday tradition from me doing my thing for them; do I say not as I do. Does not work. It’s all good.
As I think back over the years, I realize I have breathed tradition into the birthday day for my girls (and other family members) as it took on a certain kind of look, a ritual of sorts. It certainly came from a place of unconditional love…Sonny and Cher kind of “I got you babe”. The kitchen table would have gifts on it, decorated in some way, with a homemade mushy poetry-style card attached (sometimes that card would be huge in size; a bristol board folded in half, with writing on all four sides interspersed with pictures of themselves over the years), wrapped gifts (sometimes I will get little gifts with one large gift that matches their new year – you know if they turn say 10, they get 10 gifts), then birthday supper of their choice, followed by the traditional birthday song and cake with candles.
Tradition taken to the extreme. Imagine not 10 but 60 gifts!! That’s right. My two sneaky sisters for my 60th birthday this past year, put together two boxes filled to the top with 60 gifts (my grandson and I counted) of all kinds of things that I could use or like or wanted but did not say aloud. Need to play down my little loves of a Mars bar, barbeque Fritos, big chocolate jujubes, love of vanilla or apple pie smelling candles, Christmas decorations, interesting quotes. Someone has big ears and eyes. Oh well, my grandson, bless his soul, said to me as he looked at all the gifts in the two boxes, “Rara (that’s my grandma name) how come you have so many gifts? I want them. It’s not fair.” Out of the mouths of babes. Yes little one, one day you will turn 60…I’ll let your mommy know for you. Okay?
Gifts. Well they are great to get. Of course they are. My grandson would give me the stink eye (eye brow would lift way up) if I said anything else but gifts being good. However the gift comes and whatever it is, you were thought of.
Anyway, I do not think I can ever get old of hearing the birthday song sung or the cake coming in right after (cupcake or icecream cake or a special treat just for them) holding candles to be blown out. Have you ever looked closely at the person getting the cake? Watching their eyes light up as the ‘cake’ draws near. Eyes focused as they make a wish. Their face takes on a glow from the candles. And funnily it does not seem to matter how many candles are lit, the light shines fully on the face, catching every expression. So yes birthdays are a beautiful gift to give to another in remembering them, knowing them, calling them by name.
Today marks one of my daughters’ birthday (Happy Birthday); the other two already had theirs in the last couple of months. Wow!! I look at them and cannot believe who they have become. Each in their own way are spectacular human beings. Not one moment did I want a return policy (although I could have skipped a chapter or two – just saying). And probably as siblings they would be more inclined to say ‘your adopted’ at one point in time or another. Where did the time go? In a blink of an eye 33, 31 and 26 – are you kidding me? Seriously. You betcha.
Well, what’s to celebrate? You.
Blessings today and let us pray for those in need.