Living the Lessons

Why birthdays are special to me

Catherine Duffy

Yesterday someone told my daughter for religious reasons she does not celebrate birthdays and she does not see any point in celebrating them because all we’re doing is getting older.

To say I was horrified that someone could try to steal the magic and innocence from my child on her birthday is an understatement. Particularly since my daughter was so excited about turning 9. And so excited to be considered special. It didn’t seem to bother her on the surface but I knew it had had a profound effect on her because she repeated the comments to me.

I did not want to seem like I was being judgmental of the person to my daughter because the person that said it, did not say it with malice. She said it because that’s what she believes and she has every right to believe what she wants. And I also did not want to steal any more thunder from my daughter’s special day.

So I thought about how to talk to her about the comments very carefully. I took a deep breath then went deep within. Allowing that place of quiet to help me to find peace with the person’s comments. Sifting through the messages that were flowing through my wind. Trying to find an answer that would not appear to be judgmental of the person but at the same time still made my daughter feel special.

Then the answer came as clear as day to me. I told my daughter with conviction, love and truth, “The reason why we celebrate birthdays is because we are celebrating getting older. Celebrating being given the gift of time. Celebrating waking up to another day on this Earth. Of being given the opportunity to be more. Do more. Give more. Love more. And to be grateful for all the abundance we have in our lives.”

I told her aging is not something to fear because it is something we all do. Something that we cannot defy except when we die. And even then we are not defying the process of aging; we are merely succumbing to the next stage of our development and growth.

My daughter didn’t answer me but I could tell from her expression that she got what I said. That she appreciated what I said. And you know what I learned something to in the process because I realised it’s aging that reminds me of how wise I am becoming with each birthday that comes and goes. My birthday allows me to reflect on from whence I have come to where I am on my date of birth. It is a day of remembrance that I came here from an act of love and I am here for a reason.

May we continue to see and celebrate many more birthdays if that is our so desire.

3 thoughts on “Why birthdays are special to me

  1. Wow, unhappy people can really try to ruin a celebration! The words “stop hating” come in handy for a situation like this. It kind of reminds me of my daughter’s birthday, my sister tried to convince me I was being selfish by trying to buy my daughter a birthday gift. Incredible. Its funny how people will treat your kids a certain way but then if you suggest they do the same thing with their own, its another stor. Very sad. On that note, happy celebrating!

  2. For Princess Regina’s birthday this year we are keeping it simple. It will be on the same day as the Presidential Inauguration and I want to incorporate that into the celebration because she has become a major part of history and she should always know this. I have found a beautiful dress by Burberry at a consignment store with second hand clothes from celebrity children. Hopefully her grandmother will buy it for her. We will be going to a nice restaurant and not throwing a party. However there will be cake & ice cream and a very private celebration with my nieces and nephews and many gifts (several) from myself and her father. Yes indeed, birthdays are VERY special!

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