Birthday Season


I always felt so fortunate that my children were born in February.  First of all, there was no jealousy, because they both had birthdays within a couple of weeks of each other.  Second, because after all the excitement and building up to Christmas, January and February had always been a let down before they were born.  But soon those months became the time to plan parties.  I loved roaming through Party City and Cedarhurst Paper Company with my kids to pick out a theme and purchase colorful paper goods, treats, and prizes.  I love parties! Having one daughter and one son also allowed for quite a variety of ideas.  For my daughter there were themes that ranged from My Size Barbie parties to Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year parties.  For my son the parties ranged from Thomas the Tank Engine to Laser and Airsoft “shoot each other” parties.

My daughter always ended up with a sleepover party and I was there on the floor with them, telling them scary stories and singing along with the girls to Disney Princess Movies late into the night.  My son had one sleepover, when the boys snuck out at night to set off bottle rockets, that was his last sleep over.  But I miss those days terribly now.  Last year, my youngest was a freshman in college.  As I did for his sister during her first year away, I had birthday cakes, pizza, and soda sent to his dorm along with balloons, paper goods, and utensils.  The whole dorm met in the basement for his birthday which happened to land on President’s Day so the kids had the day off.  But, it seems, that was the last birthday party I will plan for either of them.

This year, my daughter turns 25 and my son turns 20.  The years of raising them are over.  The years of planning their birthdays and watching their faces as they open their gifts are over as well.  One lives in New Orleans and is attending Tulane for her PhD in Cultural Anthropology while the other is in upstate New York at Pace University working on his Bachelor’s in Accounting.  So I am wondering, what will I do to celebrate their births?  I think I will bake a cake, blow out a candle, and wish them well . . . and be oh so thankful that I have all those wonderful memories to keep me company now.    Author of The Tin Box Trilogy

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