Monday, December 12, 2011

I Say, It's My Birthday

Forty-two years ago today I was a 7 pound 5 ounce emergency c-section. Cord wrapped round my neck, not an easy time for my mom. (Sorry, Mom!)

Twelve has always been, of course, my favorite number. You guys, next year, on 12/12/12, I'm gonna have the biggest party, and you're all invited! It'll be all duodecad towers of food, and, like, a gross of cupcakes, and we'll play the dozens, and Joe Namath and Terry Bradshaw will be there, and we'll watch The Dirty Dozen then see Twelfth Night. You don't even know how amazing it will be.

On a related note, I always have my expectations too high about my birthday. I am a big baby. Actually, here's my on my first birthday. I was a happy girl. A new giraffe riding toy, and Mom made me a cake shaped like a kitty cat ("kitty cat" was about all I could say at one.) My big brother was probably nice to me, my little sister may have kicked happily in utero while the birthday song was sung. So it seems that when I was a big baby, I was good at birthdays.

It's at all those parties in between then and now that I have whined. The clown didn't make the right balloon shape for me, or I fell down too much on my ice skates, or someone gave me presents wrapped in Christmas paper. Or worst of all, the combined birthday-Christmas gift! Yeah, I didn't care if it was "better" than the two smaller gifts - no one else had to share their birthday with the season when everyone else got gifts, too. Was I not good enough to deserve a little Melanie-centric celebration separate from the crowd? No more candy canes on my presents, please!

I was reminded of this (and not just by Mom, who also noticed and commented) at my lovely niece's 4th birthday party last week. The poor girl had been talking about her birthday party for, literally, months. And my sister pulled out all kinds of amazing stops - there was a castle and a dinosaur and a unicorn and a dragon and it was all organized and beautiful and fun. But my niece had herself a couple of meltdowns that felt all too familiar to me. Because after months and months of dreaming about her Big Day, it was happening! But Jamie didn't understand that she wanted him to come look at her castle cake, and she loved her castle cake, but Jamie was just sitting there decorating a shield instead of looking at it! And that's the kind of blown idealism that a young perfectionist and secret narcissist (not the four year old, me) just can't handle.

But I've put on a lot of pounds since my original seven, and a lot of years, and I just want to tell Mom, and Robert, and everyone else over the years of my tantrums and bad mood birthdays: Thank You. I appreciate the surprise parties, and the non-surprise parties, and the balloons and the cakes (Mom makes the most amazing inventive cakes, y'all. Wait 'till you see the one she'll construct for 12/12/12. Right, Mom? ...Mom? You're making me a cake, right, Mom?) I treasure the gifts large and small, and the 'thought that counts' ones that I've returned (with or without pouting about how you just don't 'get' me), and yes, even the Birthday-Hanukkah-Christmas ones wrapped in Mother's Day paper. And the good wishes, the cards, the texts, the kisses on the forehead because I'm trying to sleep in and you're heading to school, the belated greetings, all of it. I'm blessed with many many lovely and loving and thoughtful people in my life, so hopefully all y'all need to forgive me for being a big baby about my birthday is this blog post.

Thanks for making me happy on my birthday.

Now off to plan for next year....

No comments:

Post a Comment