Remember when you were a little kid, and there was just no better day than your birthday?
Its really the best day ever.
Well, besides Christmas of course. With all its sparkle and excitement in the air that everyone seems to share…
But your birthday was just a little bit better, because it was all about you. Magical, wonderful you. Growing up. Everyone and everything was all about you and how special you are when you’re a little kid and its your birthday.
First, you’re excited to be 6 because you’ll be old enough for school.
Then you’re thrilled about those double digits.
Thirteen…A teenager! Gaaaah!!
16…come on, 16….I wanna DRIIIIVVVEEEE!!!
Then, mystical, magical, grown-up, nobody-can-tell-me-what-to-do EIGHTEEN! A real ADULT, DAMMIT! I can do what I want!
Of course, 21 is soon to follow. And oh, to be 21. You can go OUT to all the FUN places and DRINK all the ADULT THINGS…Yesssssss!
After that, its all bullshit.
Around then, you’ve realized the presents have dwindled. The attention has waned a bit. The “especially special” feeling begins to dissipate year after year.
You still want to do something…hang out with friends. Grasping at the magic of the birthday like the tail end of a balloon string…
Somewhere in your mid 30’s, you start dreading that day a little. You don’t really realize when it happened. There was no Ah-Ha! moment when you told yourself it wasn’t fun anymore, this whole ‘getting-older’ thing.
After 40. Well, that just blows.
I haven’t truly looked forward to a birthday in a very, very long time. The idea of being one year older , when you’re young, practically sings with possibility of the future… and somewhere along the way, it becomes a day that speaks of all that’s happened in the past.
Where did it all go? The time? The years? The sweetness of the unknown?
I look in the mirror and I wonder where she went. That girl who dreamed all the time about the future. She disappeared, and I didn’t even notice.
On Wednesday, I’ll be 42. Clearly, I’m looking forward to it.
I want to look forward to it again. Just one more time. I think that’s my birthday wish – just to enjoy my birthday (also to spend it in a pool with some fruity, frozen drinky-drinks – that is a big wish that I have every day of my life, from April to November, but most especially in July). Deep down, I still wish for that sweetness. The magic. The best day ever.
Maybe it will be.
Hmm. I guess maybe she didn’t disappear completely.