Have you ever wished for a holiday devoted expressly to you? A holiday in which the whole world celebrated your existence, basked in your presence, rejoiced in your awesomeness?

You’ve got one. It’s your birthday.

Yes, it’s true that you don’t automatically get to stay home from work on your birthday. And it’s also true that the rest of the world doesn’t, either –  thus, the wheels of productivity don’t stop down for much more than a few bites of cake and an off-key round of “happy birthday” for all your loved ones who want to celebrate with you (even if you’ve promised yourself pajamas, pedicures, and pineapple smoothies all day long). I concede that on days when the to-do list is a mile long, the weather is lousy, and the service at the Olive Garden is slow, you wish that birthdays were officially recognized in this country as your personal special day. NOTHING should interfere.

Yet I can’t help but wonder at how neat it is that birthdays are still “normal” days and not holidays. It’s amazing how a “normal” day can become special even without a surprise party with 300 of your closest friends, a day off from work, or a jaunt to the Bahamas.

Why does no one's birthday cake look like this anymore? This is what I always draw when I think "birthday cake." (Image thanks to

Today is my mom’s birthday (and John Wayne’s too, as a matter-of-fact). It’s also the last day of school for my high-school age sister, which means pool parties and hoopla. My dad has to work all day. I have summer class at the local community college. It’s a typical day; but my mom only gets one birthday a year, and so we do what we can. Yesterday my sister and I made a monstrous mess in the kitchen preparing birthday goodies: raspberry chocolate muffins and chocolate cheesecake. We wrapped up little presents, scrounged for scrap-booking supplies to put together a nice card, and washed the dishes. This morning my dad brought her her favorite Dunn Bros. coffee drink. Tonight we will go out to dinner.

And with today’s technology, by 9 am my mom has already read or listened to birthday messages from 300 of her closest friends. Her facebook wall is covered. Her phone buzzes every other second with a text message. Sister, mom, and friends have already rang to tell her they love her. Packages came in the mail earlier this week. Coupons for free birthday coffees arrived in our mailbox.

If you ask me, my mom’s birthday is more of a legit holiday than many official holidays out there (president’s day, anyone?)


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