Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On birthdays

{My dad's birthday, circa 1978. He was clearly partying enough for the both of us.}

Today is my birthday.
I love my birthday as much as the next person -
how could you not, with all the good wishes, fun presents, and the cake (oh, the cake!)?

I have learned one surprising thing about birthdays since I became an Ima:
I never anticipated
that one day my birthday
would mean far, far less to me
than the birthdays of my children.

You see, I believe that we are defined by the people that surround us.
On the day that I was born, I became someone. Just someone.

On the day my children were born, however,
I became an Ima.
Someone who feeds and loves and hugs
someone who kisses hurt fingers to make them all better
someone who is sought to quash the scariest of nightmares.

(And this made me realize...)
On the day my siblings were born, I became a sister.
Someone who got to share childhood memories, whispered secrets, and love-piles.
Someone who understands family dramas and jokes alike.
Someone who snuggled under the covers on weekend mornings well into teen-dom.
Someone who is a best friend through thick and thin.

So, while I still love my birthday,
It's not the day on which my heart sings in celebration.
I actually get a lot more excited about my Ima-birthdays and my sister-birthdays.

(So, do you think I could get some cake on those days, too? Did I mention how much I love cake?)

What is the greatest lesson you have learned about birthdays?


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