When I think of the birthdays I have celebrated, there is so much variance. As a child, I have memories of going to Dreamworld one year and of having birthday pool-parties in our backyard. I think of the cakes shared in the classroom at school, and of family gatherings with my aunts and uncles.
As a teenager, I remember being very excited at 13 when my birthday fell on Mothers Day – I had been waiting for this for years. I’m not quite sure why, but I’m hoping it was because I wanted to share something special with my very special mummy. I also remember having a Monty-Python-a-thon and spending the morning of a party at the doctors hot/cold, nauseous and needing an injection to stop it. Another birthday was spent attending the funeral of a class-mate who had been killed in a car accident earlier in the week, and another having lunch and shopping with friends.
As an adult, I’ve celebrated with cake at work, been recovering at home from tummy bugs, had family dinners and had days at home.
There has been many memorable birthdays – both for fun, laughter, sadness and tears. As each birthday has always been simply a reminder of another year past, a milestone to measure the passing of time, it’s never really bothered me too much about what I actually do or get for my birthday. It’s has always been ‘just another day’.
Since becoming a mum myself just over three years ago, the day has taken on a new meaning.
As I’ve celebrated each of my children’s birthdays, I’ve thought about and reflected on my journey with each child. The day of their birth, my labour, my pregnancy and my time with my gorgeous little boys. Each birthday of theirs has become so special to me.
And so it is with my birthday now. I think about my mum.
I think about… the pregnancy she endured, the labour she went through, the sleepless nights up with a screaming baby, the breastfeeding through the night, the toddler tantrums, the food all over the floor as I taught myself to eat…. the mud I’ve no doubt stomped through the house on her clean floors, the nights she stayed awake through my whooping cough and the many months she had sleepless nights when I was 11 and was waking with nightmares every night.
The music lessons she took me to, the dancing lessons and soccer games… the chocolate ripple cake or a baked cheesecake she made every year for my birthday, as they were my favourites. The lecture notes she shared with me when we took the same classes (yes, you read correctly!) and the listening to me rant, rave and cry when I needed to ‘talk’ about something.
So for me now, I tend to think of my birthday a lot more along the line of Mothers Day – a day where I stop to think and appreciate my mum for all that she did to raise me as who I am. It’s kind of fitting then that my birthday falls in the same week then as the actual Mothers Day in Australia!
Do you have any special Birthday or Mothers Day traditions or favourite things you do to celebrate???