I’ve gone through swings in how I think of Birthdays.
My earliest memory of a birthday was a party early one morning in my dad’s office. I was probably 3. My relatives had all gathered around. I was excited about new socks. (and that book about whales). At 5 we had a massive party on my terrace. With a guitarist, a Charlie Chaplin and a magician (and his rabbit). Friends and teachers from school were there and I remember all the gifts. One also spelt my name “Wick Rum”.
The next few years had variations of celebrations with friends. Cutlets seem to be a mainstay of the menu at these celebrations. One birthday celebration coincided with exam season, so my mom designed games that prepared us for the exam. When I got too-cool to celebrate with a party in school, I went out with parents and relatives. A cake at the pool-side with many relatives and my over sized yellow t-shirt. Eventually I grew into it – so investment 😛
University had a further myriad of celebrations. The first had 100s (at least in my head) show up at midnight to splatter cake on my face and give me my deserving birthday bums.The next had fewer folks at midnight but they decided not to waste the cake – instead it was eggs, flour and a drop into a dirty pond. There were birthday treats that costed 70$ – massive at that point and I felt like I was going way over budget.
Birthday in Sweden perhaps had the best surprise ever. A bunch of friends waiting in the corner of a train station for me to show up. (yes there was cake and I also almost ran into a train and missed them). There were more variations of birthdays since – combined meal treats, a house party, quiet dinners and DUMPLINGS! Blood donations, food distribution, charity campaigns, and this one attempt at telling 100 people a story of a girl to collect a dollar from each person.
There are plenty other stories about my birthdays. Each story brings back more memories about the people involved and gives me great joy. I am starting to like birthday celebrations again in my own funny way – not because of the birthday celebration and not because I grew a year older; but because its a chance to reflect about the numerous people who’ve graced my life. Its an opportunity to celebrate the many people who’ve shaped me to be who I am.
Thank you for influencing my life in the small or large way that you have.So thank you for the gift of your presence in my life. If you wish to give me more presen(ts)ce- a quick message that we can use to kick off a conversation would be lovely!
Avi reminded me this morning that birthdays are an opportunity to celebrate achievements & successes. It was a timely reminder to complete this post.