Grownup Birthdays Are Lame

by Abby on May 14, 2014

birthday cannoli with a candle in itMonday 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?”

“Ummm… 4?”

“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?!”

“No, THIRTY-seven.”

“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?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Leigh Shulman May 14, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Funny and true. But I like my cake no matter what.

I live in Argentina where there’s a massive abundance of kids play spaces you can rent for parties. They have bouncy houses, slides and a kick ass sound system that plays (oddly) a lot of techno. One even has a mechanical bull.

I have this fantasy about renting it out one day for an adult birthday party. Imagine it. Strobe lights, mechanical bull, red bull and vodka.

And of course cake.

One day, perhaps. 🙂


Abby May 15, 2014 at 9:05 am

You should totally do it, Leigh. That sounds super fun. If they let you do it after-hours and bring alcohol, that is!

The hubs and I were planning a trip to Argentina when we found out we were expecting our first son. Life got complicated. 😉 Still would love to go there one day!


Pamela May 15, 2014 at 10:02 am

I find celebrating my birthday (or my guy’s) is harder than celebrating my kids or grandkids. We are bashful about it – and feel funny about ‘celebrating’ getting older. But when you think about it, getting to our age, surviving the raising of kids and watching them begin their own family, is an even greater reason to make a big deal about a birthday past the ’50’ mark, then when we were 5 or 15!


Abby May 15, 2014 at 10:06 am

I agree. It’s harder for us because we don’t “need” anything and it does feel sort of weird to make a big deal about birthdays as an adult. But I do think we have more reasons to celebrate the older we get. Like “surviving the raising of kids,” LOL! I haven’t gotten to that milestone yet. 🙂


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