on birthdays

Last week was my birthday.  (Remember these)?  I’m not much of a birthday person.  Oh, I don’t mind a celebration — I look forward to raising a glass to toast most any occasion.  But to celebrate me?  Maybe another time.  I get squeamish with the attention, awkward around opening gifts.  Did I give the proper response?  Did the giver feel the proper delight in giving?  You probably should have just saved your time and money.  Sheesh — what a pain I can be!

I have found, however, with the advent of small children in my life, a new willingness to be lavished.  This year, the Eldest has really understood the concept of “birthday.”  Countless times throughout the day, and even some since, he paused, glanced up from a puzzle to meet my eye, and quietly, with that smile, delicately declared “Happy Birthday, Mommy.”  I will receive that any time, my friends.  I know I have the proper response for him.  Let me also coo about the Littlest — she, in her tender voice, has been singing “Happy Birthday” to me (yes, singing).  Now that is a treasure I know how to keep (though my husband insists that she sounds like Marilyn Monroe singing to the President).  Add to these the drawings and cards, the whisperings behind the door as daddy brings them alongside his schemes, and this year I have been gifted beyond my imaginings.

Birthdays are celebrations.  I want to celebrate my children on their respective days — I want them to feel like royalty.  Knowing this, I also need to model how to graciously receive these celebrations.  As uncomfortable as it can be for me to recognize it, I know that I am adored by those in my life.  Embracing my birthday is just as much a gift to them as it is to me.  And let me tell you, those cupcakes were quite a gift, thank you very much.

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