Monday, September 28, 2009

Halfy Birthday

Three of my four children were born within nine days of each in the Christmas season - on the calendar that is, of course. Some people would comment: "Isn't that terrible to have their birthdays then.' I would respond 'Not at all!' For me it was a huge gift, significant in the fact that my Mother had lost three children - the same combination, two girls and a boy - within a 9 day period at Christmas. It was never lost on me that I was given exactly what was taken from her.

There were lots of positive things about having Christmas babies. It made my favourite holiday season even more magical & memorable. There wasn't a chance for Christmas 'letdown', as the celebrations just kept coming. What some people might have thought as a negative, was just Reality in our house. 99% of the time, birthday gifts were wrapped in Christmas paper. We were (correction - I was) so over done with sweets & desserts, that the thoughts of a fancy birthday cake just seemed over the top & actually I had no money by that point. So when they were really little, my children thought that 'Sara Lee' cakes were really birthday cake. They were at a friend's house one time & when she brought out a Sara Lee cake, they said 'Whose birthday is it?!' Yeah, there might have been some times that I was a little over-spent those years - physically & financially, but I tried to make their day, THEIR day. I worried more that our one child who didn't have her birthday then was feeling left out.

It was a long time between celebrations for them though, so I instituted 'Halfy Birthdays'. On the day that they would turn the 'half' mark, we'd have a half of cake (again, likely Sara Lee) & we'd sing 'HALFY BIRTHDAY TO YOU'. No presents, just recognition & attention. Which was hard enough to come by being one of four, so it was greatly anticipated and enjoyed.
It's neat to see my daughter keeping that tradition going. Yesterday was my darling grand daughter's 'Halfy Birthday' - 5 and a half. And don't you be forgetting the half at this stage - it is of great importance. She was so excited, you would have thought it was Christmas. When I called her to sing 'Halfy Birthday to You', she giggled delightedly, then said 'Are you coming over to bring me presents.' I love the directness of children, it would be so refreshing if people kept that authenticity. I said 'We actually don't give presents for Halfy Birthdays - just Love.' She said 'It's good to get Love, isn't it.'
Ah yes, it is. And any day, any way, that we can celebrate someone we love is special day indeed.

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