Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Easter Birthday (Or Why I'm Forever Grateful That I Haven't Given Birth on December 25th)

I have an April birthday, which means that there is always the possibility that, if the moon and the stars align just right, my birthday might actually fall on Easter Sunday.  Growing up, I thought this would be the coolest thing ever. 

In retrospect, I have no idea why, but as a kid it was always a big deal to me to check the calendar at the start of a new year, and each year I was disappointed.

There was one year that my birthday was the day before Easter, but it wasn't quite the same high I was convinced you could achieve from celebrating the day of my birth and a giant fake bunny and the day Jesus rose from the dead all in one day. 

Apparently, ten-year-old me thought that would have been way cool.

Then I grew up and realized that special days are rare, and sometimes birthdays just suck, and there's really no reason to combine what might be an already crappy day with the stress of a holiday where you've got kids who are in total sugar shock and family members on both sides who are pissed because you spent too much time with the other side of the family.

I don't have issues surrounding the holidays or dealing with family or anything . . .

But the universe always has a plan.  And in some cosmic twist of fate, I ended up with a daughter who has an April birthday too. 

And this year that birthday falls on Easter. 

Not the day before, or the day after -- it's smack dab in the middle of Easter Sunday.

She, of course, thinks this is the coolest thing ever, and can't wait for extra birthday presents from the Easter Bunny and the special awesomeness that can come only from a day so glorious that you could actually load jelly beans and Cadbury eggs atop your birthday cake if you wanted.

One might say that I can live vicariously, as we parents tend to do through our children, and maybe mothers especially through our daughters.  Maybe I could, if I could step back, and breathe, and enjoy the simple things in life the way she is still able to do. 

I want to revel in the anticipation, and share her giddy excitement over the lottery she thinks she has won. 

It's just easier said than done.

Because I'm the one drowning in the details of determining which presents are birthday presents and which ones are Easter basket presents and which ones are Easter bunny birthday presents and which family will we celebrate with and who is making dinner when and how many damn birthday cakes do we need. 

Sure, if I stop for a moment, I can step back and see that these are minor things (as my husband so annnoyingly points out) and that they aren't really earth-shattering problems to have.  But they're also things that have to get done, and I'm the one doing the doing. 

Equality parenting my ass.

So I'm in an Easter/birthday/PMS/too-busy-to-help-husband-induced funk this week, and, yes, I'm wallowing.  I'm also relying on the help of an occasional glass of wine or three or four.

The good news is that I'm fairly certain that I can get everything finished and pull myself out of my funk in time for the actual big day. 

I would like to genuinely enjoy what promises to be a very special day for my daughter, and for the fun-loving ten-year-old who is buried deep inside me. 

I know she's in there, trying to get through to me and remind me to get out of my own way and remember that the simplest pleasures can be the most exciting of all.  I'm pretty sure she would tell me not to make life more complicated than it actually is -- the problem being that she doesn't realize that making life more complicated than it should be is the very definition of being a grown-up.    

If I can actually listen to her, though, this Easter/birthday thing promises to be pretty cool after all, once the preparation is over and the details are ironed out.  It's most likely a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so we're gonna make the most of it.

A Christmas birthday, on the other hand, ack!!

Every?  Single?  Year? 

Not even my inner-ten-year old could get me through that one.


On a slightly related note, if you're looking to fill your kids' Easter baskets with at least some items that won't send them into sugar shock, check out my post 50 Candy-Free Ideas For Easter Baskets over at Parenting Squad!

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