Monday, April 09, 2007

Just forget it all happened

My birthday went exactly as I had requested: quiet with no hoopla, cake, or presents.

Since my teen years all I've really wanted on the day of my birthday was a recognition of the day. I don't want attention on me for just surviving one more year of life. When I pass the age of 60--okay, maybe I'll change my mind. It isn't that I don't like attention. I love it when I'm performing or teaching or talking. My birthday isn't one of those days that I want attention. Honest. This year no one attempted to make me have a celebration. I had a good excuse for not wanting a party or presents or even tacit recognition.

To think that I said last year that my parents never needed to get me another birthday gift ever. Who could have known it would be my last present from my father?

What about you? What do you like on your birthday?


elizabeth.thomas said...

I love a party! Not for the recognition - but just to have all my friends and family around having a nice, good, fun time. I love that.

dragon knitter said...

i don't want a party either. however, i don't mind going out to eat (hubbie's birthday is the day before mine, so sometimes we celebrate as a family on one, and with just each other on the other. this year, we waited a week, as the kids were visiting their grandmother in ks), as i used to cook for a living, lol. other than that? a card is fine. i actually took a trip by myself this year as a present.

Awesome Mom said...

My birthday is on Friday and I am still not sure what I want to do. I guess it is too late for a party so we will probably go out to eat as a family. Generally I like to at least get a small gift from my husband but this year in lieu of a gift he is letting me decorate the boy's room. It has been rather fun and better than any gift he would have thought up on his own.

the granola said...

I like how hobbits do it. Instead of recieving gifts, they give them. I've done that before, and it was lots of fun. Think I'll do it this year.

I think it is nice to have a holiday that is 'just yours'. I certainly don't want anyone going out of their way at all, but it is a way to celebrate life and have my own 'new year' on which to think about what I've done in the past year, and how I can do better in the coming year. Having it be my own private one makes sure there is no extreme commercialization, etc.

Birthdays from the parent's perspective: We are all so happy to have our children. I want to give them a special day to celebrate just the fact that they exist. To let them know that we are glad they were born and that we love them. We should do this in little ways all the time, and a birthday can't make up for not doing this, but I still think that an extraordinary day in which to show our kids this emphasizes that we believe in them; that they are a good thing to have come into the world.

Sarabeth said...

You know, Ami, it is true that a celebration of your children's birthdays should be joyful and recognized. To the parent, that was a momentous day whether the birth was easy or not. When we celebrate the child's birthday we celebrate their contribution to the family and our love for the child.

What I like about kids' birthday parties that I've been to recently is that the kids who come each get a gift to take home as well as a balloon. It's giving a gift to the ones who care. We made sure to do that, plus do a craft the girls could take home, with our eldest's party this past year.

I once heard a NPR story about a young man who was told by a Buddhist monk that in order for his family to have good fortune he would need to feed a monkey on his birthday each year. Before he moved to the US, that wasn't difficult in the jungle region in which he lived. Now that he lives on the West Coast, he has to arrange to feed a monkey at a zoo or pet shop.

I liked the story because he had to think about his family that day instead of just himself. After all, aren't we only going to achieve greatness of self with the support of those who love us?