Birthdays are celebrated in numerous cultures, often with a gift, party or rite of passage. This past weekend was Hubby’s birthday, and while there had been plans for a celebration of the ninth anniversary of his 29th birthday, even I admit it fell a little flat this year.
Monday evening around the dinner table Chris announced that his birthday this year must be what it feels like every year for our son, Mason, whose birthday falls two day’s after Christmas.
“You have no idea,” the 12-year-old retorted.
Hubby’s frustration this year happened as a result of our family having a very busy summer with insufficient time for planning a well-thought-out celebration.
To make sure a birthday such as this one doesn’t occur again, Hubby announced while we were all gathered around the table for dinner that he was giving us fair warning–for his 40th birthday in two years, he said expects more than a funny t-shirt and a happy birthday hug from each of us.
“We will consider ourselves fair warned,” I told him. I then asked the kids if they had any ideas off-hand to get the planning started.
“I’m not helping plan a birthday party until I?get one of my own,” Mason proclaimed. “I’m sick of people giving me Christmas presents with Happy Birthday written on them and thinking that’s acceptable.”?
Hubby tried to offer a sympathetic and understanding ear.
“I know how you feel, Mason. This year for my birthday everyone was too busy to help me celebrate!” Hubby said.
Mason glowered and told us we can’t even begin to understand the lack of planning that goes into his birthday. “Every year I get the same amount of presents for Christmas, even though it’s my birthday too. If I?had a birthday in the summer like you do I would get presents twice a year like everyone else in this free world does.”?
“If it makes you feel better, all I got this year was a t-shirt,”?hubby offered.
Mason was not backing down.
“We gave you that t-shirt!” Mason said in exasperation. “And if I remember correctly, last year for my birthday, all I?got from you was a lousy sweatshirt with your company logo embroidered on it. Not to mention, you made me wait to open it until the evening of my birthday! At least we let you open your birthday present on your birthday morning,”?Mason grumbled.
After Mason’s outburst the room remained silent for a minute as we all contemplated how correct Mason was. As his mother, I’m ashamed to admit he was right.
“Well, sorry for your guys bad luck, but I like my birthday!” Maddie, announced of her April birthday. “I always get good presents and a big party.”?
“Yeah, because it isn’t around a major holiday,” Mason grumbled.
“Or stuck in the middle of a busy summer,”?Hubby snarled.
I reminded both of the unhappy men at the table that my birthday, which is the day before Valentines Day, falls around a major holiday and I?have never felt left out of presents or well wishes.
“Nice try, Mom. Sorry to inform you that Valentines Day is not considered a major holiday,”?Mason said. “And you still get presents for your birthday and Christmas.”
“With the amount of money I?have to spend on her for her birthday it might as well be considered a major holiday,”?Hubby complained to Mason.
Both men had valid complaints, but the truth is, each year we age, the celebration begins to lessen. Hubby looked back at the birthdays of years past remembering cocktail parties until the wee morning hours and lavish gifts from friends and family.
We did the same thing this year that we do every year for Hubby’s birthday– the noticeable difference is that this year we struggled to make it past 11 p.m. Lavish gifts for the birthday boy now consist of practical items like t-shirts, tools and homemade birthday cakes.
With that in mind, planning his 40th birthday party may not be as elaborate as I?once feared. Coffee and cake at the senior center at noon doesn’t sound half bad!