Thursday, July 18, 2013

Birthday Month

As a child I'd sit in class and be incredibly envious when someone's birthday was celebrated.  Their mom would bring cake and party supplies.  Even as an outcast at my school I was allowed to participate because the whole class was included.  Still, I longed to be able to celebrate my "special day" too.

Ah, but I was born in the summer. July, when the heat really begins to build and the sweat trickles down your back.  When I was a child, not everyone had airconditioning.  We certainly did not.  We had screen doors, open windows, hoped for a cross draft, and had a couple of round oscillating metal fans. It just wasn't cool enough in the house for a real social gathering.  Not that my family was known for social gatherings to begin with.  There were a few times I remember my Mom trying to throw me an actual party.  It was hard to get the neighborhood kids to come over after second grade.  Remember, I was an outcast.  Mom did always make a cake when one of us had a birthday and there were a few presents.  Still, I missed the social acceptance.

When I married, my husband's family would throw me a birthday party.  It was just their family but it was nice.  Cake, ice cream, and a special dinner.  I felt special and it helped to heal some of those childhood wounds.  Once the children came along, all the focus was on making their birthdays as special as possible.  I know that to some extent I was over compensating for my own childhood.  Now the kids are older and fairly much do their own thing on their birthdays.  I think I did good by them. 

My birthday is now just another day.  At most I request to NOT have to make dinner.  I usually buy my own presents.  I have hopes of spending the day reading and writing.  I'm in my 40's.  It's well past time to let go of childhood hurts.  Birthdays are just a day to mark the passage of another year of life, to look back and reflect, and make plans to make the year to come even better.  I think I'm starting to settle well into this middle-age thing...

Happy Birthday to me!