Every time my birthday rolls around I think about weird things. I wonder if anyone else would admit to thinking about weird things on their birthday?
I think about birthdays gone by. I think about how I can not remember what favorite birthday dinner I used to choose to torture my siblings with. I do not know what my favorite dessert was. I sometimes try to remember my favorite birthday present ever and contemplate why it was my favorite. I ALWAYS fondly remember my 12th birthday boy/girl surprise party my parents had for me that made my life utterly perfect in every way.
Every year I remember the birthday card I got from a great grandmother of mine when I turned one that my parents memorized and still quote to me every single year on my birthday:
"Quack, Quack the ducky goes it's your birthday and he knows. There's going to be a lot of fun at your house because you're one."
Can you tell I was the oldest child? :)
Last year at this time I was doing lots of substituting at the library in Westfield, Massachusetts. I was loving every minute of it. None of my kids knew about the divorce yet. Amanda left for her mission on my birthday. Miriam was on her mission. I had one kid married. And I may or may not have cried most of the day for lots of reasons.
This year I am driving a school bus in Cottage Grove, Oregon and loving every minute of that too. My kids all know about the divorce and all of you do too. Amanda has been gone on her mission for one year. Miriam is back from her mission. I have two kids married. And there is a good chance I may or may not cry again but for different reasons than last year.
We all have expectations of birthdays. We all long for there to be someone that knows exactly what makes us happy and is willing to make it happen on just one day. We say we don't care but I would venture to say we really do care. We all have good birthday stories and bad birthday stories. We all like attention but yet hate attention. There are so many layers of reasons why we feel the way we do about our birthday. Depending on how our moms celebrated them. Depending on what time of year our birthday is. Depending on if we share a birthday with someone or not. Depending on if we are easy to please or hard to please. Depending on if someone loves us or not. Depending on if we ever asked for something and actually got it. Depending on if someone ever made us a homemade gift or not. Yeah, you get the picture.
I am a little bit afraid that I am a weird one. I do want attention on my birthday but then when I get it I do not know what to do with it and I quickly decide I actually do not want it. I rarely answer my phone on my birthday and if I do well...I am not sure what occasionally compels me to answer. I am pretty sure I do not answer because I am afraid I will cry if I do. And how would that make you feel if I cry when you call to wish me Happy Birthday? Yeah, that's what I thought :) If you give me a present I am not overly comfortable opening it in front of you. Actually, I really do not want a present I just want you to tell me how you sincerely feel about me.....okay, and maybe to do something for me that I know is a sacrifice for you.....like cleaning the bathroom or spending the day letting me ask you questions.
My kids have been asking forever what I want for my birthday and I do not know how to explain to them that I do not know what I want. I want someone else to know what I want. I know people do not know what you want if you do not tell them but I am a tough customer I keep hoping there is someone who has noticed what I want and has paid attention.
This year for the first time in over twenty years I am with my parents on my birthday. Someone asked me what I want for my birthday dinner. Someone asked me what I want for my dessert. It took me a few days to decide what my favorites were. At first I needed to drive to Bandon to my favorite fish and chip place but then reality stopped me and I told my mom I wanted my dad to cook his fabulous pork tenderloin and I wanted her mixed berry pie.
I wonder how other people really honestly feel on their birthdays? When they thank everyone who wished them a Happy Birthday on Facebook and declare that their day was perfect I wonder was it really? How do they know it was a perfect birthday?