June 26, 2021.
One comes around every year, on the same date, no matter what else is going on in one’s life, or what spectacular events are occurring at the time around the world. The event can be ignored, or celebrated, or simply noted, an oh by the way.
Mid and end of June birthdays are especially prone to being relegated to second-tier status, shoved to the background, subordinate to end-of-school events, graduations, weddings, the onset of summer, the excitement of the Fourth of July holiday, and summer vacations. By the time my birthday arrived – year after year – school was out. No cupcakes for my elementary school class, no ribbon corsages in junior high, friends often already scattered to summer activities.
Last year my birthday was a non-event. Although a milestone year, a nice round even number, thanks to covid, there were no celebrations. No party, no special dinner at a posh, expensive restaurant, no grandkids around to tease me about how old I was. Just another quiet, near-solitary day in semi-secluded pandemic quarantine, hub and me.
One year later covid restrictions recede into history. Cautiously we mingle with others in person, celebratory events enthusiastically anticipated. But I don’t welcome the passing of another year. As a kid a birthday was an eagerly awaited, joyous occasion; decades later not so much.
Birthdays mark the passage of our lives. Special birthdays stick in our minds forever, while others are forgotten as fog blurs our mind over the years.
We may remember birthday dinners – the one when Father’s Day and my birthday coincide on the same day, dinner an afternoon grilling hot dogs and hamburgers
exceptional cakes – the Carvel cakes devoured when a kid…two-tiered yellow and chocolate cakes consumed most years…and the light, luscious black mousse cake enjoyed by this year’s crowd of 14, all family, reunited for the first time in 2½ years. A wonderful birthday gift…
and speaking of gifts, a few remembered – a subscription to Seventeen magazine…a ring from Grandma and Grandpa, still worn…additional pieces of jewelry over the years…and a trip to England that overlapped with my birthday.
Another birthday logged this past week. No changes in me. A week after the special day, I am the same person I was the week before my birthday. But I am older. And I should be wiser. I wish I was wiser. That would be a great birthday present! But no…I am the same old me. And next year I will be the same old me, one year older. And, most likely, still no wiser.