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Monday, September 24, 2007

Birthday Season

It's birthday season in my family and it gives me a chance to reflect and notice how things change.

Today's my birthday and in a week it will be my daughter's birthday. (Not to mention it was my step-father's on the 19th, my grandmother's on the 20th, Remi's dad on October 9 and it goes on.) But when I was younger, my birthday was a special day. Things happened on my birthday and other things didn't. It wouldn't have all been unusual to take the day off work because it was your birthday. Who works on their birthday? It's a special day! (I didn't get into taking my birthday off but I know lots of people who do...)

But there was always something different about my birthday and that has become less and less so and my birthday has become more and more like any other day.

Perhaps it is because my daughter's birthday is so close to mine and for her the month before and the month after her birthday are all tinged with that birthday-ness.

Maybe it's because I'm like so totally present, man, that I'm where I am all the time if it it happens to be my birthday than that's what's happening but it's really not different than being on the bus back from NYC or wherever. What-ev-er.

I guess it's probably because I'm getting old(er) and time has a different quality to it. When a year is a smaller fraction of your life than it was when you were younger, it's maybe less significant and for sure it seems to go by faster. I mean, there's closets I don't get to in a year. A year can go by and I haven't cleaned out that drawer I was meaning to. Know what I mean?

Maybe it's because I have some resistance to having a birthday that makes it so it's like any other day. I try to down-play its importance so I won't have to face the things I said I'd do and haven't done yet, and face the new wrinkles and grey hairs that mark the time. I like to think I don't mind getting older...I really do feel better now than I have at any other time in my life! But perhaps there's some underlying sadness about being closer to the end.

Perhaps I'm not making myself as important in my day, now that I'm a mom to someone who's having a birthday in a week, (and she will not let me forget it), that I have taken a bit of a back seat in the birthday department and have just let her have all the birthday fun. That sounds sucky and like I'm a poor loser. I don't think that's it.

Plus, now that I am a mom, I am well aware that the birthday for the kid was really the mother's birth day. Giving birth with my eyes wide open, with the intensity and uncertainty that surrounded that event was definitely a day I was involved with. Remi got out of my body that day but she sure had been around for much longer than that. Her personality came through while I was lying down in a way that made her uncomfortable and at other times as well. So the birthday really was my day at the time. Or rather, it was our day, as we needed to work as a team to have her arrive safely, as she did, right on our bed in Johannesburg with 2 midwives standing by along with her father and aunt.

The birthday season has maybe just matured and changed a bit. I still notice it's my birthday and I tell people, in part to make it real for me so I don't miss it. And I still look forward to opening my presents and eating cake this evening!

3 comments:

lo said...

Happy Bday Jamine!
You should always be number one on your birthday:)Laurel

Asteroidea Press said...

Well said, Jamine.

And happy birthday! I hope you enjoyed the cake.

Remi's birthdy must be just a day or two before mine (I'm the 3rd). So happy birthday to her too!

Jamine said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes. Remi will be 9 on October 1st. Yikes! Never saw this coming...that I'd be the mother of a "tween."