Sunday, April 14, 2013

"Parent"dox: Birthdays are for Parents

Sunday Night "Parent"dox #9: Birthdays are for Parents

Remember when you were a kid and waiting an entire year for your birthday seemed like a lifetime?  Counting down the days until your birthday felt like an eternity, like time had literally frozen, and in severe cases -- such as anticipating a birthday party at Show Biz Pizza or waiting for the all-important double digit milestone of 10 -- it could feel like time was actually going backwards.  

Now, as an adult, those years fly by much faster than I care to admit, and a birthday is often just another day of the week.  

I was reminded just how fast those years are flying by when I was leaving my son's school this week.  I was talking to our neighbor, a 1st grader, in the hallway as I was on my way out the door.  As we were talking and laughing, one of her classmates came walking up to join in our conversation.

Kid:  "Hi.  What's your name?"
Me:  "Carrie.  What's your name?"
Kid:  "Jeremiah."
Me:  "What a great name, Jeremiah.  It's nice to meet you.  Are you in Kelly's class?"
Kid:  "Yup.  Are you Kelly's grandma?"

Grandma?  Grandma??  Thanks for that, 6-year-old kid I don't know.  You are doing wonders for my self esteem.   

I tried to rationalize that one as much as I could.  These are some of the things I contemplated on my drive home to console my wounded ego:
  1.  Maybe he knows Kelly's mom, and knew I wasn't her, so he just went with the next relation he could think of.  (Although, for the record, I would have preferred "cool aunt" or "hip cousin" much better...)
  2. Maybe he meant Grandma as a compliment.  I mean really, to a 6-year-old, there is no more amazing person on the planet than Grandma, am I right?
  3. Maybe he failed his vision screening.
  4. Maybe I should stop wearing my hair in a bun.
After all the rationalizing, though, all I could do was laugh.  Truly, I love the unfiltered thoughts that tumble out of kids' mouths.  They always seem to serve as a good reminder not to take things too seriously.  

Like birthdays.  And getting older.  And age.  

Age is just a number. 

 Actually, it's much more than a number.  That number represents another hard-earned year's worth of laughs enjoyed, obstacles overcome, tears shed, experiences lived, relationships deepened, fears conquered, boundaries pushed and wisdom gained.  I am thankful for the years God has given me; thankful for the people He has put in my life in those years; thankful for  the happy memories that serve to mark each of those years; and I'm learning to be thankful for the challenges that have made me stronger over those years.  

It is a number to be celebrated; a number to be cherished; a number to be treasured. 

So, yes, there is no denying it, today is my actual birthday.  On this day that celebrates my birth and glorious introduction to this great big world, I have been thinking...  I didn't really do anything that day.  I was born.  Piece of cake.  (Maybe that's why this day is commemorated with cake?)  Really, let's think about the people we should be celebrating here...the people who actually made that very first birthday a reality.  

My parents.

Here is my request for this day and for years to come...don't send birthday wishes my way, send them to my parents.  

Happy Birth Day to both of you!  Thank you for all the work (aka labor) you did that day to get me here.  Thank you for getting our family of 2 (soon to be 3) to the hospital safe and sound.  Thank you for getting through contraction after contraction.  Thank you for cutting the cord.  Thank you for holding me when I was just minutes old.  Thank you for not passing out at any point.  Thank you for encouraging and supporting and celebrating that day.

To my parents, on my birthday, You Are a Good Mom (and Dad!).  Thanks for loving me and supporting from that very first minute, that very first breath, and for every minute and breath since then for the last 34 years.  I love you guys to the moon and back!

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  1. Happy Birthday, Good Mom, you deserve a cake today-I hope it's your favorite flavor,

    1. Thanks, Lynda! I enjoyed a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream from my husband and kids who know me oh-too-well. :) Yes, a pint. And yes, I ate almost all of it myself (less the scoops for my kids). A birthday only comes once a year, right?!


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