Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Birthday and Happy Birth Day

Today is a birthday day at my house and you know what that means...a lovely day of spoiling my birthday girl and showering her with reminders of how much I love her and feel grateful for her life.
When my birthday girl's eyes pop open on the morning of her big day, the first thing I want her to see is a big shiny mylar balloon with a festive greeting.
And underneath the balloon, on a chair by her bedside, I position a big bunch of flowers. Unless she's sleeping in the top bunk and then all bets are off.
Planning the birthday dinner menu is at full discretion of the birthday girl; today she chose tacos with fruit salad and here is the shopping list she made for me.
Of course, any decent birthday celebration involves baking a special treat, and as you might expect, it's the birthday girl's choice. This is a cherry pie, decorated with her initials and literally overflowing with deliciousness.
So many options with candles...there are the number shapes, the letter shapes, the kind that re-light, the tall, super skinny kind, and of course, the old school version like these. We are kinda into the stripes and dots combo lately...this is what the birthday girl decided upon, after much deliberation.
But before we break out the sweet treats, it's present time! Our birthday budgets are modest, but it's always possible to make a few wishes come true.
Handmade cards are a must, complete with inside jokes and kooky nicknames.
After the presents are all opened, the lights go down and the pie makes its appearance with candles aglow. 
We sing the Happy Birthday song, the candles are blown out, and then  all four daughters frantically wave their hands and arms, trying to push the smoke toward the birthday girl. They've been doing this for quite a long time now and I think it's become an official tradition.

Oops...forgot to take a pic of my pie when it was fresh and pretty. But let's face it, sometimes these last few bites are the most delicious of all. Plate lickin' good.

But here's a little secret. Birthdays aren't really for the person who was born on that particular day. The true value of a Birth Day is held by the birthday girl's (or boy's) mother - the woman who knew her long before she was born, who remembers every twist and turn of the birthing event, who held that tiny baby in her arms for the first time and gazed down at her precious face, thinking, "Welcome to the world, my little one, but you and I already know each other quite well, don't we." It is a holy and blessed thing to give birth to new life and that is what we mothers truly celebrate on our children's birthdays.

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For more stories about birthdays, read:

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