Have you ever noticed how birthdays evolve from “the most exciting thing ever” to “if we don’t celebrate it this year, can I just be this age next year?”
In honor of me marking off another year of my life, I have compared just how much birthdays have changed from then to now…
Then Versus Now
Age 1: You have no idea what this birthday thing is, but are a huge fan because it involves something called “cake”. Your adoring audience looks on as you smear frosting all over yourself and anything within reach.
Now: You have to plan your own cake, fight your children for a piece, and no one applauds when you use frosting as hair gel. Sometimes you don’t even get your own cake. You just stick a candle in a leftover cupcake from your daughter’s birthday party two days ago.
Age 4: You fly out of bed, barely able to contain your excitement – most likely before the sun rises.
Now: You would do anything to sleep in.
Age 4.5: Old enough to fully understand birthdays, an eternity passes before the next one, resulting in the “half birthday” celebration. A meltdown might ensue if a parent forgets and tells someone you are only four.
Now: Forget the halves. You no longer tell anyone your true age and if they push, you start subtracting a few (or more) years from it.
Age 11: You have entered the “slumber party” era and finally your parents will let you stay up as late as you want and eat junk food while you giggle with your friends.
Now: You dream of sending your children away to a slumber party so you can sleep through the night and possibly have some alone time with your husband.
Age 18 and under: It was all about the presents – the bigger the size, the better.
Now: You probably get a handful of cards and a few checks in the mail, but rarely anything wrapped in paper….
Age 16: You celebrate by a trip to the DMV for the precious piece of plastic you’ve been coveting for years: your driver’s license.
Now: You wish you could afford a chauffeur and cannot wait until your children learn to drive.
Age 18: You are officially an adult and can vote, ruining your parent’s favorite excuse of “Not until you’re an adult…”
Now: You wish you’d savored the carefree days of childhood a bit more.
Age 21: The birthday you can barely remember, thanks to bar hopping for free birthday shots, beginning at midnight and finishing the next night. You pull out your proof of age with glee at each carding because now there is nothing to be “caught” on.
Now: You are probably in bed by 10 PM. You celebrate if the cashier cards you and thank them profusely.
Age 25: You plan an elaborate gathering with most of your friends. Oh, and your insurance rates drop.
Now: You spend the day at an amusement park because it coincides with your spouse’s employer’s “family day”. You beg a friend to watch your youngest, haul your oldest with you, try to ride some roller coasters in between the kiddie rides, and finish with the wild rafting ride. Ten times in a row.* Even with the 102 degree weather, it’s pretty awesome.
Age 29: You realize this is the last birthday before thirty, and (if you’re female) your biological clock goes haywire.
Now: You wish you’d taken more photos of yourself at 21.
Age 30: Your procreating efforts have paid off and your pregnancy distracts you from hitting the milestone.
Now: You focus on your children’s birthdays and ignore your own – creating a blissful amnesia where you have to execute the math to remember how old you are.
As my birthday rolls in, it’s time to collapse into an exhausted coma – hazard of eight hours of amusement park plus four hours in the car.
Happy Monday, all!
*This actually occurred the day before my birthday this year. Last year it was on my birthday. I have photos, but my eyes refuse to stay open to add them.
When was your most memorable birthday and why?