It’s probably due to the people we are drawn toward. For me, birthday season is typically in late June and early July, as well as from late August through all of September. Feels like every day I’m checking my calendar to remind myself who to send a little “love” their way.
With that in mind, the other day I called a childhood friend of mine who lives a couple states to the south so I could wish him a happy birthday. Here’s how it went down.
“So, what are you doing to celebrate your birthday, today?” I asked. I’d gotten the low-down on his classic car adventure from the evening before and wanted to hear a bit more before we hung up.
“No big plans,” he said, chipper, as always. Some folks are just good souls that way. “But I take my mom a bouquet of flowers every Saturday, so even though it’s my birthday, I’m doing that today, as well.”
I laughed. “Buddy, let’s re-phrase that. You’re taking flowers to your mom because it’s your birthday. Ever since I became a mother, myself, it’s totally reframed the way I see and celebrate birthdays.”
“How’s that?” he asked, kinda mystified.
“Well, given my experience there are two chief participants in a birthday. The baby and the one who delivers that little bundle…the mom. Do you actually remember what happened, when, and how it happened on the day you were born?”
“Oh,” he sat there a moment with the static from the long distance cell connection sorta rippling over the line. “Wow. You’re right.”
“Well, it’s funny, because for our whole lives we’re getting all the hoopla when it’s really about the mama who did all the work. That’s why they call it labor.”
We both laughed, out loud, at that. At the simple ridiculousness of the way birthdays are celebrated.
After we make our grand entrance into the world, it’s our mothers (and fathers) who are taking photos and ensuring we are safe and clean and fed and clothed and educated and prepared to tackle life as (sort of) an adult at some point in our lives. If they are (mostly) on it, they are checking all the boxes for us in Maslov’s famed hierarchy of needs. Yet we’re the ones that get the cake and presents. OMG.
The cake and crown are really due to our moms. Let that sink in.
Being born isn’t the job. And, yet, the person who’s born is really the one who gets all the credit.
Birthdays feel especially important during this season. This feels like one heavy, huge birthday season. From now, on, think about your mother and your mother’s mother. And then consider your daughter and your daughter’s daughter. Think about the choices that they will have to make from now, on, given this particular “birthday” season in the United States of America.
Yes, please bring them a huge bouquet of beautiful flowers on your birthday and their children’s birthdays. Maybe even hold birthday parties in THEIR honor, from now, on. Just think if everyone did that?! I might even consider becoming a florist. For sure, we’re going to be celebrating a lot more birthdays by this time, next year.