Monday was my husband’s birthday. It was not a milestone birthday – that was last year – and it fell on a weekday with school and work and baseball. So the celebration, as it were, was limited to cannoli with a candle in it.
My 5yo had a tough time grasping this. He kept asking question after question about parties, themes, presents, etc. It reminded me of a similarly difficult conversation I had with his brother several years ago.
A Birthday Conversation
“Miles, you know what tomorrow is? Daddy’s birthday!”
“Are we going?”
“No, it’s his birth-DAY, not birthday party. The day he was born.”
“When’s his party?”
“He’s not having a party, sweetie. But we’ll make a cake and celebrate at dinner, just us.”
“Can C. and O. and L. and B. come?”
“Those are YOUR friends, buddy. And like I said, he’s not having a party, it’s just us.”
“Why isn’t he having a party?”
“Well, grown-ups don’t always have parties for their birthdays, unless it’s a big one.”
“Is it a big one?”
“No, not really. Do you know how old Daddy is?”
“No, not 4! That’s how old YOU’RE going to be on your next birthday. Daddy’s 37. That’s a lot older than 4.”
“300 and 7?!”
“When are you going to be old, Mama?”
“Hmmm, well… do you mean old-ER? ‘Cause I’m already pretty old.”
“When can we give Daddy his presents?”
“Tomorrow. I got him a framed picture of us and an orange bathing suit. But don’t tell him, because we want it to be a surprise.”
“OK. Mom, I’ll tell him we got him a picture of a tree and a GREEN bathing suit!”
“That’s pretty clever, bud, but how about we don’t tell him anything.”
“Mom! Mom! Let’s tell Daddy we got him a window and a fence for his birthday!” (If you recall the current state of our house, he might actually be thrilled with those gifts.)
Birthdays just aren’t the same when you’re a grown-up, are they?