Godmama Says…
a buncha stuff.

born again

August 10th used to be my birthday.

See,  my parents wanted to put me in school slightly earlier than was legal,  so the date of my birthday was changed just enough to make me appear to be 4 years old at the start of the school year.  I was actually 3.  It’s one of those things you don’t question, because who in the world has ever been lied to about that?   When you’re a kid,  your parents tell you the sky is blue and the grass is green and you were born on August 10th,  and those things become hard facts that don’t require further investigation.

Being a year and a half younger and a head shorter than everybody else did NOT help with the whole ‘only black kid at school’ thing I had to deal with for the first part of my schooling years.   Thanks, Ma & Pa.

Anyway, I didn’t make the switch back to my proper birthday until I was about 11 or 12, and had confronted my mother for the tenth time about the discrepancies with the dates in my baby book.   I was confident I was about to score two birthdays.   Surely I was owed that after being put in the bizarre predicament of being lied to about when I was born.  Once that simplest of trusts is broken, everything becomes questionable.   Particularly while struggling in so many unfair ways to fit in anywhere in your present world…   “Am I even your kid at all?   Cuz I saw in a movie where this little boy was found in a glowing space egg in the backyard… hmmm….”

Shockingly, I was not awarded a second birthday for being a little detective and then summoning the weird, unnatural kind of courage it takes to call your own mother a liar about such a silly thing.  No, I was told I had to choose.   I felt robbed.  Only one birthday?!  What sense does THAT make?  What sense does this whole THING make? I had already developed a very early interest in astrology, and I was thrilled that I would get to be a Leo and a Scorpio at the same time.  I had always had such happy summer birthday parties,  and now I thought I would have a nice late fall occasion as well.  Complimentary seasonal birthdays.  Excellent.

“When is your birthday?” other children would ask.  “Oh…I have two,”  I would get to say.  “Which party would you like to come to?”

Ultimately I did choose my original birthday,  and the whole strange affair has been mostly forgotten.  Still every August I feel a little weird, like I should be getting cake and pinning tails on donkeys but I’m being forced to wait.    Some people think of birthdays as less and less significant as they get older, which I find incomprehensible.  I love the idea of having an annual opportunity to celebrate someone’s life before they are laid out in a box and everybody’s crying about it.  In fact the only thing better than the chance to do that would be TWO chances.

I’m bringing back my second birthday, dammit.  No gifts necessary,  just a dress up party and happy friends to play with.    I declare this unbirthday selection day.  Pick a date– a comfortable distance from your real birthday so as to fill in that empty space throughout the year where nobody is saying “YAYYYYY YOU!”    Act even more special on that day than you do on your actual birthday because you think your real birthday means you’re getting old.   Dress up and smile expectantly at everyone and drop hints about how long it’s been since you’ve been dancing, or to Six Flags, or skeet shooting or whatever…..

And keep your calendars marked for the Star Wars themed party you are all throwing for me August 10th of next year.  And November 10th of this year….

*That’s right…it’s a Death Star pinata, people.  Make it happen.

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One Response to “born again”

  1. Oh.

    Happy belated second birthday.

    In Montessori classrooms, birthdays are celebrated with “a celebration of life” where the birthday child walks around the sun the appropriate number of times and shares pictures of herself at different ages. I may remember the details a little fuzzily because Marigold’s birthday is in the summer so it’s been a looong time since I’ve observed one, but they are nice.


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