The Truth About Birthdays
Birthdays are milestones, days to take stock, notice, celebrate. They gives us a concrete number to mark time. At five years old we start school; hitting double digits make a kid feel grown up; turning 13 starts the tumultuous teenage years; 16 means you can start driving. We collectively have an idea of what happens when.
The truth is, birthdays get harder as the gap between Aidan and his peers becomes more noticeable.
Garreth and I went on a date last week and our first stop was to a store to buy birthday presents for Aidan. I lasted for approximately five minutes before hating the things we didn’t know to buy and the childish things that seemed best to buy. We bought some knick knacks and headed to the bar.
I resent that it’s a day of forced celebration with missed milestones being thrown in my face. It’s become a day to remember that grief will always be my companion; those achievement we expect of 5 year olds, 10 year olds, 14 year olds, may never be mine.
After a few days of sulking, I realized that we celebrate Aidan and his triumph quite a bit. My gratitude muscles have been flexed. My mind is set on noticing and paying attention because his gains are harder won and his victories are broken into smaller bites.
So I let myself off the hook, bake a cake, put a hat on my boy, take it off, let the day pass and move on.