Today I turn 51 years-old. I’m not saying this to get a string of “happy birthdays,” it’s just something that I can’t ignore.
Being an achiever, I’ve always felt a little guilty celebrating my birthday. I mean, what did I do to earn gifts on this day? I don’t think I really had a choice about being born, and my mom did all the heavy lifting, right?
I think mothers should get gifts on their kids birthdays, as a way of saying, Mom, thank you for:
- Aging ten years during labor
- Breaking your tailbone while pushing me into the world
- Losing a bra cup-size due to breastfeeding
- Permanently widening your hips at least three inches preparing for my delivery
- Enduring the long glucose test where you drank syrup all day
- Multiple broken veins and stretch marks
- Feet that are now one size bigger
- Dealing with the preacher’s visit who failed to notice the glow of the heat lamp under the sheets and stayed until there was smoke
Moms do all the work, and the kids get all the gifts. Of course I guess our birth day does include leaving a warm, happy place and being squeezed through a tunnel 1/30th the size of our heads only to pop into the arms of a cold world where we are then probed by aliens in green masks.
We also lose our convenient feeding tube and have to rely on people who seem really grouchy when we ask for a snack in the middle of the night.
Then our belly button cord falls off – our last hope for reattachment to the happy place.
So, I guess maybe we do deserve a few gifts on our birthday.
Today I will call my mother and thank her for all of the pushing she’s done to create me (as moms we start by pushing our kids into the world — do they really expect us to stop?).
Later I will recreate the birthing experience by sitting in the bathtub, in the dark, eating whatever I want to. Now, that’s a birthday.