We are hurtling toward May, fondly known around here as “birthday month.” Yes, every member of our immediate four-person family (plus my sister) was born in May. (Apparently a lot of people get it on in August.)
Son H. was born on the eighth, a mere 5.5 hours before his dad’s birthday on the 9th. If only he could have held out until midnight! But what can I say? It was dinner time, and that boy never misses a meal.
Until I was in my 20′s, I believed my birthday was the fifteenth.. I was adopted, and the details are a bit hazy, but somewhere in all the paperwork and hassle that the adoption entailed lo those many years ago, my parents got their dates switched. Needing a passport when I was in my early 20′s, I applied for and received my birth certificate and there it was: May 14th. This moved the day of my birth from a Sunday (“a child who’s born on Sabbath day is bonny and blithe and good and gay”) to a Saturday (“works hard for a living”). Aw, nuts.
Daughter F. arrived on the 23rd. She’s the only one of us who is not a Taurus. If you follow astrology, then you know that in the years to come, little F. will be flitting hither and thither, talking and laughing, seeking out new experiences, new friends, while the rest of the family stands around, mulling it all over and swatting flies with our tails.
Of course with the birthday month comes the question of how to celebrate. I don’t want to get all “back-when-we-were-kids” on you, but I will say that we had extremely modest parties as kids. We had cake and ice cream and little paper cups filled with peanuts. We wore pointy hats. We played pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, or walked around the May pole with paper streamers. (I don’t get it, either.) The parents of kids who were said to be “spoiled” had pinatas for their birthdays. That’s right – pinatas were a sign of over-indulgence.
Fast forward to today: I think I’m supposed to rent a hotel room or a reception hall or something, right? Send out engraved invitations? Fly Adam Lambert in to sing “Happy Birthday” to my two-year old?
And should I give each child his/her own birthday party, or combine them? My sister and I always shared – we didn’t come from one of those “pinata” families. Perhaps sticking with the family tradition of modest celebrations is best: cake and ice cream, silly hats, a game of Blind-Man’s-Bluff or a little Twister.
And I’ll come up with something for the kids to do, too.