Well, we survived BirthdayFest 2003 in good shape. I think I’ve found the secret: Birthdays are crap, and should be treated that way.
Of course every child wants to see their birthday honored; I’m speaking here of the birthday industry, which makes every natal milestone into an excuse to spend a bucket o’ bucks. I’m getting off that merry-go-round, not that I was ever really on it, but I seem to recall Year Five as the year I spent $45 for a Barbie cake that tasted no better than the $8 one I got from Kroger this year.
New readers: My husband and my daughter share a birthday, which was this past Sunday. This year, in keeping with our status as temporary residents, we had a new/old synthesis. Kate invited one friend from her class, and two friends from Fort Wayne, and they all had a sleepover. Pizza, pajamas, “Finding Nemo” on DVD — do good times require anything else? I don’t think so.
As for Alan, he got a pair of nice walking shoes, suitable for campus strolling, and, of course, half the cake that read “Happy Birthday Kate & Daddy.”
The worst of it was suffered by our babysitters, with whom we entrusted all four kids while we went out to the Scorpio Party at Wallace House, in honor of the four Fellows, one staff member, two Fellow spouses and one Fellow child who have November natal days. (One is actually October, but he’s a Scorpio.)
When I met Alan, he shared a birthday with my friend Adrianne, and they complained that, with the exception of Elvis Whitehead, a kid in Alan’s class who died young, no one else in the history of the world had a November 16 birthday. Now there’s Kate, and Amy’s husband (who reminds us the world’s oldest living human being, a resident of Lima, Ohio, is also 11/16), and Fellow Fatih, and Martin Scorsese’s daughter Francesca (Marty’s own birthday is today) and many, many others.
Happy birthdays to all.