Thursday, October 13, 2011

When do birthdays stop being fun

Ashvin and I have our birthday during the same month – his excitement and mine towards the event are pretty different. He cannot wait to be five and a year closer to ten !! I am indifferent to say the least, another year less to live if I think too much into it. That is another thing growing ‘older’ takes away from you – the sheer joy of your birthday.

The first birthday that I can recall was my third (or fourth – well, many many birthdays ago). I could barely wait as I had been promised a walking doll. We were at my grandma’s place and I had spent the last few days searching high and low for it. I woke up with nervous anticipation that day – not sure if I would get it but very hopeful. My mom never told me where she hid it and I accepted the story of a plane dropping it with a parachute that morning without too many questions. The doll was everything I had imagined and much more. She walked and her eyes opened and closed. She was big and beautiful. It was a wonderful birthday.

Cakes we had growing up :)  cake photo from here
For the next few years birthdays were about parties organized at home – in a room decked with balloon we played passing the parcel and musical chairs, there was cake decorated with icing and little silver balls (that must be banned by now for some health issue for sure). You were treated special at school – standing in front of class as everyone sang for you before you doled out candy. Everyone was nice to you on that day.

By college the birthday parties and games were replaced by friends arriving at midnight with cake and birthday bumps. Birthdays were something you still looked forward too. Parents still gave you a gift – the popular slightly expensive electronic device of that time – and you could weasel out of trouble by using "it's my birthday" as an excuse with professors.

As you hit 25 (in the US) your car insurance rates drop and you still throw birthday parties or fake surprise at the ones carefully planned and executed for you.

Then somewhere along the way they stop being as much fun. You get a hundred wishes on facebook and seeing 74 new notifications does bring a smile to your face. You still feel special on that day but somehow the cake gets fattening and there is no gift that you hold your breath for (as you have usually bought all you wanted when you wanted them). 

So, as age has sucked the joy out of my birthday I have spent my energy  hiding the very special extra large Lighting McQueen car in a place Ashvin will never find. I am going to spin a story on how it appeared and watch his face light up as he sees his cake with extra frosting. I am going to make sure he enjoys every birthday cause I have realized you don't have that many - that many that you actually look forward to.

The design on the cake Ashvin wants this year.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mallika, Really enjoyed dropping in here.

    My birthday was last month and I totally get what you are putting across here. It's all about trying to build up the enthusiasm for the kids so they have nice memories of their birthdays, and feels so good if you succeed at that! My darling daughter couldn't understand why my birthday which comes around the last of us 4 was completely low-key :).