Six Candles

A sixth birthday can be somewhat daunting. I mean, it’s the first one that you will probably remember for the rest of your life. You’re in school, too, so you’ve got little school friends who are actually your friends as opposed to children of your parents’ friends. And because you’re in school it behooves you … Continue reading Six Candles

Those Sad Birthdays

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“Maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had, and what you’ve learned from them, and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.”

When I was eight years old I asked my mom what it was like to have a real birthday, to have everyone be so excited for you that they would never want to miss your party, to stand up in front of the class wearing a cheesy birthday hat and have people serenade you with the birthday song. And she looked at me like I was crazy, as if I had grown an extra head between the time I asked her the question and the time she finally looked up at me. But I wasn’t crazy. I knew how it felt to get shafted on my birthday, to see everyone else get to enjoy theirs but to have mine crowded into the shadows of a brighter sun by which all other days merely orbit instead of shining in their own right. Because, you see, I was born on December 27th.

I remember relating this story to others as I got older, and telling them all about the massive disappointment I felt every year on the anniversary of my birth. I told them stories of getting presents wrapped in Christmas paper that were obviously just Christmas presents that were siphoned off and given to me two days later for my appeasement. It was obvious one year when I got a remote control car for Christmas and the remote control to actually use it on my birthday, both wrapped in identical Santa Claus paper. It was so bad at one point that I recall shouting at someone (it might have been my Uncle Michael — sorry), and saying how if they were going to get me Christmas presents and misrepresent them as birthday gifts that I didn’t want any presents at all. And I know you’re thinking I was spoiled, but I really wasn’t. I just wanted to be recognized on my special day, like so many others are without question. Continue reading “Those Sad Birthdays”

Labor Day Present

My mother’s mother was in labor on Labor Day, an ironic coincidence if I’ve ever seen one. I never met my mother’s mother, but I hear she was a fascinating woman. It’s rare, of course, that my mother’s birthday actually falls on a Labor Day, since it’s one of those shifting holidays, but it’s still … Continue reading Labor Day Present