Thursday, March 09, 2006

Innocence Lost

Taxman and I started dating in the late spring and were married in the early winter. His birthday, in the late fall, was the first that we celebrated together. He claimed he didn't care all that much about his birthday and didn't understand what the big deal was. Nevertheless, I put a lot of energy into a gift for him. I bought him a backpack and put little things in the pockets that he liked or reminded me of him or us. Cheesy, but we were young and engaged, and I clearly had more free time.

Fast-forward six years, and I totally understand the birthday lack-of-drama. Birthdays are a day to be grateful that you are alive, but not really any more than any other day. My inbox is stuffed full of e-cards to let me know others remembered. It's nice.

But it's not like your birthday when you are a kid. When that inexpensive gift from your mom or your friend can just light up your week, and you get to have a party, and eat cupcakes at school. If your birthday is in the early spring, and it happens to be warm and sunny that day, it's suddenly the most exceptional day of the year.

The first time you have to go to work on your birthday, it doesn't feel quite right.

Now I don't get gifts so much as birthday money. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining (it's probably all spent in my head!), but it doesn't require the same kind of planning and execution that a child's gift does.

I am waiting for Miss M to reach the age at which birthdays are Really Special, and hopefully she'll be there for a while. And I expect that somewhere in that time frame mine will have the potential to be Really Special again, too. I am looking forward to the breakfasts in bed of burnt toast and grubby fruit salad, borne by my grinning little rascals. Assuming that we've actually gotten a new toaster by then....

P.S. Happy Birthday to another Five Borough resident, Ianqui. Hope the cupcakes live up to their billing!

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