There is one holiday that rolls around every year that is tailor-made just for you. Some choose to celebrate it for the entire month while some choose to ignore it all together as if it doesn’t exist. You don’t have to be a specific religion in order to celebrate it and you didn’t have to do anything grand to earn it. One of the greatest attributes of this holiday is that it always involves cake, presents and attention.
It’s your birthday! (Insert song……”Go Shawty, it’s your birthday)
Growing up, birthdays were always very special in our house. We got to choose our favorite meal that would be home cooked by my mom and she would bake our favorite flavor of birthday cake. Even though we didn’t have much money my parents made sure we had a birthday present. Some years I often wondered how they even afforded birthday presents but they always made it happen. They made sure we were celebrated properly.
One of the greatest birthdays that I can ever recall was when I was in the first grade at Weaver Elementary. My mother randomly showed up at school and checked me out for lunch. She was on her lunch break from work and she sprung me from school. She took me to Cotton Patch for a burger and then to Payless Shoe Store for a pair of knee high boots. I had been begging my parents for “tall boots” for as long as I could remember and my wish had come true.
High heel brown patent pleather side zip boots. It was high-fashion for a first grader.
After lunch and shopping she brought me right back to school only this time I was now showing off my stylish boots. I was walking a little different that day and I remember taking great pleasure in bragging on my birthday boots and burger that I was blessed with. It truly was a beautiful day and it will forever be one of my favorite memories of my mother during my childhood.
If you will fast forward many years later to my Sweet Sixteenth birthday. It was equally as memorable. While I knew I was not going to be getting a car, I just felt like something great was going to happen. It did indeed.
My parents completely forgot it all together. I received nothing… not a cake, not a card, and I even had to share a regular supper with my regular siblings. I remember eating dinner and thinking that any moment that they would come forth with a birthday surprise but it never happened. I went to bed sad and a little confused that day. How could they forget the day that their favorite child was born?
However, the next day when I went to school they sent me apology balloons. By the time I got home they had thrown together an apology dinner, an apology cake, and an apology gift. It turned out to be a great birthday albeit initially forgotten. If you can imagine I took great joy in reminding my parents of that mishap and even used it frequently when my own children would act spoiled around their birthdays.
“At least I didn’t forget your birthday like my parents did.”
I have gotten many miles and parenting parables from that one.
It was a memorable day but for very different reasons and it truly helped me manage my expectations for future birthdays.
The older you get the more sacred all of your birthday memories and follies become. You soon learn that life isn’t always going to deal you the perfect birthday or perfect memories.
Most importantly, if you stop and completely meditate on the fact that God actually chose you to be born it overwhelms your soul. He chose you. He chose me. He chose the time in which we would be born. He created us in his image. He knows the number of hairs on our head, he designed the fingerprints on our very hands that we fold together in prayer. He knitted us together in our mother’s womb and knows the specific number of breaths we will take as long as we walk on this earth.
It just doesn’t get more blissful than knowing we are loved by a King.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb”. Psalm 139:13