March 6, 2015

"Hi Mom! Thanks for having me."

I will admit it right now, my birthday is my favorite holiday. I have come to realize that I feel this way for two main reasons. The first reason is that it is the one holiday that I do not need to plan for or help out with. It is nice that I can get a few hours out of the year- when the attention is focused solely on me. It is okay to be selfish when you spend the other 364 days of the year helping out with everyone else's everything. You may be wondering why I am overlooking Mother's day. Simply put, I have a mom, a godmother, a mother in law and my kids' godmothers to call and get gifts for. My birthday can be all about me. 

Before you leave thinking that I am some spoiled brat, I want to explain that I am a fairly low-maintenance person. Wait a sec- let me fact check that statement with my hubby. Ok- I am back... his response was... *chuckle chuckle* Well, you aren't high maintenance- 'ya know? Because, you don't have to have the typical 'finer things in life' to be happy." See? I am not a spoiled brat- I was just raised to value sticky note love letters over diamonds.

The second reason that I love my birthday over all the other holidays? Because, my parents and my sister have always gone out of their way to make my day feel special. I am not just talking about a card or flowers. We are a family that is overly sentimental and find meaning in weird things like specific times and dates, heart shaped rocks and daffodils. Nothing makes me happier than my favorite flowers in full bloom in a pot of dirt- and they know that. My family has raised me to be a sentimental fool and I think that is one of the best things about me. 

I believe it was my sophomore year in high school, I started calling my mom every year on my birthday at 11:22 AM- the time that I was born. I would ask for a pass to use the pay phone by the office to call my mom. The conversation is always the same. When my mom answers, I simply say, "Hi Mom! Thanks for having me!" She responds lovingly with, "Thank you for being my baby." It is the favorite part of my birthday each year. 

When I started the annual "thank you" calls, I never thought about how that simple sentence must make her feel. Fast forward to today, I am in my thirties and have two kids of my own. I hope that she knows that over the years I have learned how much weight that call carries. I appreciate my parents more with everyday I am a parent myself. Every time that I have a challenging day with the kids- it adds more understanding for what I put them through. Every time they look at me and tell me that they love me and my heart melts- it adds more understanding for how a parent feels about their kids. I never understood how much my parents loved me... until I had children. 

Before the acceptance speech wrap up music starts to play, I would like to publicly and sincerely thank my family for making my birthday special. Thank you for going out of your way to make me feel so loved. To my husband, thank you for understanding my need for sentimental craziness and for knowing that getting me bulbs for the garden and a promise of new flooring in the kitchen was the perfect gift selection.

Most importantly, I promise my children that I will always make their birthdays over the top with sentimental mess. I want them to know how it feels to drive down the road and see a daffodil in bloom and feel like the world knows it is your birthday.

Here's to another trip around the sun!

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