I have the unique, um…privilege? good luck? I dunno…of having a late May birthday. The benefit of the late spring/early summer birthday is that it coincides with the end of the school year and Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer. When I was a little kid, I kind of thought that everyone got the day off on Monday just for me. Apparently not. The day has always been really important to me because it was one time during the year that a huge portion of my extended family got together.
Plus, there was cake, which is always good. Each year’s cake was reflective of my favorite color, except for the one year when my mom (horrifyingly) had my face put on the cake. Eat your own face and don’t get creeped out, I dare you.
Celebrating the personal passage of time has a certain universal appeal. The minds behind Mental Floss put together a list of Birthday Traditions from around the world. Honestly, some of them are kind of terrifying (check out Ireland!)
There is something special, almost magic about birthdays; there is a sense of wonder as the end of your year rolls around and you look into the future with hope. Birthdays are an opportunity to look at all that you’ve done and all that you’ve accomplished. Think about yourself a year ago: the people you hadn’t yet met, the lessons you hadn’t yet learned, the trials you hadn’t yet conquered. What an amazing, wonderful, lovely person you are!
Which leads me to wonder: what is your best birthday memory? Is it funny or sentimental? Was it your birthday or that of a friend or family member?
This was last year. It was the first time in 20 years that my siblings and I had been together. I’ll cherish that memory always. I’ll also always be quick to notice that I’m the only non-blonde-haired-blue-eyed one of the group. But that’s a story for another day…
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