Sunday, May 12, 2013

In Support of Birthdays

Yes, you read that right.

Despite the associated anxiety that "Ugh! I'm getting old!" I've decided I'm in favor of birthdays. Not only am I in favor of them, I think we should give them more weight ... particularly over other certain holidays.

This post lining up with Mother's Day is no coincidence.

Don't get me wrong. I love my mom. She beats herself up over perceived shortcomings (gee, wonder where I got that from), when in reality she's done a great job raising the three of us.

I likewise respect mothers everywhere. It's hard work. Infinitely rewarding, yet often thankless. My metaphorical hat is off to you all.

And yet, I have a problem with Mother's Day.

If you know me, you probably know I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day, either. Could this simply be bitterness at work? Perhaps. (Okay, somewhat likely, in part.) But I do have more behind it than that. It could be a matter of over-thinking, but when has that ever stopped me?

You see, Mother's Day and Valentine's Day and Father's Day—among others—have something in common. They ask us to celebrate a singular aspect of you-ness as though it can be separated from all the rest of the you-ness.

My mother is a mother, yes. She's also a singer, a gardener, a pianist, a teacher, a genealogist, and a reader. She enjoys movies and games and puzzles. She loves animals. She hates balloons because she hates them popping.

Why single out one label over the others? Same goes for celebrating the fact that two people are each other's romantic partner. Aren't they more than that?

I like the idea of celebrating the whole person, for everything they are.

Thus, birthdays.

A day not for celebrating labels, but to celebrate a person's very existence. Where it doesn't matter what you aren't, because the day is about what you are. Everyone has a birthday. No one has to be left out. Even if odd circumstances mean we don't know the exact date, one can be declared and accepted. The specific day doesn't matter, because it's the symbol that's important.

It's your day to be appreciated for all you are.

No guilt trips or feelings of inadequacy necessary.

Just a thought.

2 comments:

jwtroemner said...

Now this is an interesting take on the holiday. I never thought of it like that.

Debra McKellan said...

Neither did I. Good point. :)