And while we’re at it, I’d like to move Mother’s Day to August.
That said, I was intending to go in an entirely different direction with this post. It was all about me: how I hate that my birthday is often overlooked in our house because of finals, papers or, in the past, Army trainings/deployments; how the same is true of Mother’s Day because it also falls during finals week; how poor, poor me was in tears on my birthday and feeling unloved on Mother’s Day.
Then a delivery man brought this to my door:
(The instructions said to consume immediately. Who was I to argue? Especially concerning those chocolate-dipped apple slices.)
And I received a belated birthday card that made me smile.
And even though I’ve had a rough week, and I really did cry on my birthday and nearly told my husband off on Mother’s Day, my heart wasn’t in the post that I was writing.
It was ungrateful, selfish and truly pitiful. Even I wouldn’t have read it.
So let me tell you what I’ve learned this week:
- Birthdays are just another day. I used to get upset at my dad for feeling this way about his birthday, but I sort of get it now. Yes, May 4 is the anniversary of the day I was born, and no, we can’t always celebrate it on that day. Does that mean my birthday has no meaning? That we can’t celebrate it at all? Nope. May 18 is the rescheduled day of my birth this year. My husband will prepare my pre-selected menu of meals that day, and I hope, have had time to buy me something nice. (Phil, if you’re reading this, you’ve gotten the hint, now get back to writing those papers!)
- The postal service has not outlived its usefulness yet. At least, not in my book. More than 100 people posted a birthday greeting on my wall. (If you were one of them, thank you for that!) I also received a couple of e-mail greetings/cards. For me, though, there’s nothing like getting a card in the mail on your birthday. Some people see that as a waste of money, and if that’s your view, that’s fine. But let me tell you this story: my grandmother paid $18 in postage to ensure that my birthday card arrived ON my birthday. Extravagant? Perhaps. But love makes you do crazy things sometimes. I am resolved to try harder to send cards in the mail for birthdays and other special moments. I will fail, but I will try harder.
- In the absence of family, friends and church family shine like stars in the night sky. I was overwhelmingly blessed by warm well-wishes for my birthday and Mother’s Day by people I’ve known less than 3 years but who feel like they’ve been a part of our lives forever.
When I look back on the pain I caused myself this week with too-high expectations and roller-coaster emotions, I wish I could take back the time I lost. But I can only move on, look ahead and hope that this time next year, no matter what does or does not happen in May, that I’m praising God for another year of life and motherhood.