Like It’s Your Birthday
Remember when I was a new mom with a fresh cesarean wound and a large stash of nursing pads? When it was my first birthday postpartum and I sat out on my front porch “hoping” people would come to my “party” (read: last minute ladder ball game)? Remember that? When I sobbed like my infant and ate frosted flakes and declared my 28th birthday the worst of all time because I had decision paralysis and was tired?
Well guess what.
I’m not there anymore (cue dancing and fun lighting).
I don’t say that to gloat, but rather to say, if you’re there, mama, maybe don’t scroll further…and go read the above mentioned post instead. Because that was real, and hard, and I felt a thousand deep levels of crazy. It was also a little bit sweet and comical, but mostly the other things.
But THIS post is to say that…it changes! Gets better. Or it can.
It’s also a post to encourage you to not only plan your child’s birthday this year. Because lady…or man (do any men read these? Comment below…)…you’ve got a lot to celebrate too.
I planned for months for Bridger’s birthday since the year had been new and sometimes rough, and we felt like getting together with our friends and family to say, “We did it!” Also, cake.
But the closer I got to my own birthday at the end of August, the more I felt myself slipping into the indecisiveness of years gone by.
It is hard to prioritize your own changing-of-age because A. it feels odd if you’re not a spotlight kinda guy/gal, B. it really does seem optional, and C. it’s hard to imagine it as anything but just another day, the older we get.
I felt myself getting prematurely bummed about it all. I didn’t want to expect anyone else to plan anything because, am I seven? I didn’t want to plan anything and expect people to come because, they have lives? But then I also didn’t want to get to midnight that evening and cry into my cereal all because I…missed a chance to party.
That’s when it hit me, about two weeks out from turning 29: birthdays don’t have to be about attention and expecting people to show their gratitude for you. Birthdays can be about celebrating the fact that you are alive and in this world! That the last twelve months have held all of the things (please visit the milkdrunkblog archives for a refresher on what those were). That real, deep, beautiful life has been lived with some of the best people on earth. That we maybe get another day, another year, to be good to each other, to see babies grow, to be loved and to love and to create and to dream. I realized, two weeks out from my birthday, that I not only had the option to celebrate life, but the obligation to.
What a special thing.
So we did! It fell on a Saturday this year (Saturday birthdays are the best, yes?); and we started out at the Farmer’s Market for some breakfast icecream, kombucha, and salsa samplings. Luke wore Bridger, and it wasn’t blazing hot. A man in his 80’s approached us and said, “I have one of those! He’s 40 now…” Luke replied, “Bet you don’t wear him like this anymore!” And we all laughed.
For lunch, I went to get pizza with girlfriends at the place in town that is home to my favorite salad (we pause to honor you, Frank’s Homemade Caesar). Then, we caught an early showing of Star Trek (swoon…to both early showings and ST). We ended the night with Mexican food and margs with our families.
That day I gave thanks for being able to taste tomatoes, having some extra cash to see a movie in theaters, sweet older men and their stories about their own babies, a year of life with my son, twelve months of rich living with Luke, our friends and family who we get to soak in every chance we get, and a mind and fingers to write about it all.
Listen, if it’s your birthday, and you just can’t….then don’t. But if you can, please…please do. You’re alive, and that’s important. My writer-friend Danielle calls it a “commitment to celebration,” and I think I’m finally letting myself practice just that.
B is not necessarily committed to celebration in the above picture…nevertheless, party on.