Friday, May 11, 2012

A Birthday Resolution

No, it's not my birthday. That was last month. Did you miss it? That's okay. I really don't mind.

Fact is, it's been years since I made a big deal of my birthday. I can't remember the last time it was a big deal. Well, three years ago I brought an amazing friend with me on a birthday visit to my family. She made cakes, and the experience was pretty memorable.

Cake with Gaping Flesh Wound
But really, we could have—and probably would have—done it without it being my birthday.

I'm not so different from a lot of other people. Birthdays remind me that I'm getting older. Then I delve into thoughts of, "Am I where I thought I'd be or wanted to be by this age?" In some ways, no. Cue disappointment, depression, and general malaise. In other ways, I've done some very positive things I never imagined five years ago.

Still. Birthdays. Meh.

At least, that's how I felt until something made me think about it the other night.

I have pretty awesome students. You might have heard me mention it before. Even the ones who drive me bonkers find ways to make me glad I work with them now and then. Earlier this week, I attended an award ceremony for top seniors around the city, including one of my students, whom I'd nominated.

I've taught this student for the past five years, from Algebra 1 all the way to Calculus. I've chatted with her mom several times, and did again this particular night. This student has a few health issues, no surprise there, but her mom mentioned something I didn't know before.

When she was born, no one expected her to make it. They came in and told her mom—a first-time mother—that her baby would not make it through the night.

As her mom says now, though, her daughter is a regular donkey with the stubbornness. And here we are, eighteen years later. Eighteen years longer than the doctors expected. Alive and lively.

I'm not going to gripe about my birthdays and getting older anymore.

Happy Birthday, Paige!


S.E. Bentley said...

I see the creases in my skin and realise it's not bouncing back and I can't pretend time is not ticking! I tell my year 1 class when I was in your class 30 years ago... they look aghast! I hold my daughters and I realise somewhere along the line it's been time well spent, regardless. It took me so long to know where I want to be, I have a lot of writing ground to make up for. If you ever hear of a button for pausing time (for the rest of the world, let me know!

Sophie Perinot said...

As my mom always says, "aging isn't great but it beats the alternative." Carpe Diem and birthdays be darned!