The day I get panicky has arrived! It’s today, December 01. I get panic over overlapping schedule of activities this December. I get panic over year-end work. I get panic over completing the family’s gift list. I get panic over the sky-high expenses and credit card bills! hehe This year I also get panic over my age! Yes, my age, my last calendar age — 31.
Last year when I was turning 30, it was a different tune. I was thrilled to become 30. For me, it marks my womanhood. It was a turning point. There was too much of excitement, changes, and anticipation last year that there seems to be no more left for my 31st. I may not be as ecstatic as last year but I promised to intentionally celebrate all the important birthdays in my life, mine included.
My 1st birthday. I don’t know how I celebrated it. I don’t know if there was a party or if I received any gifts. Of course, I do not remember anything from that day but it’s still one of my favorites regardless of the manner of celebration because it’s my first! What could be more special than that? (Well, last birthday celebration could be as special or even more but it’s hard to predict when would that be!)
My 7th birthday. I have a bit of recollection of this day. I remember myself wearing a white backless haltered dress which my mom designed and was done by a seamstress in the neighborhood. I remember I had a big cake and that I received gifts from my cousins. I also submitted a picture for an application to be a sponsored kid (foster parenting). Back then, they told/joked me that I will be adopted soon. I remember I cried and prayed I won’t be accepted. True enough, I was not accepted in the program. My 7th birthday was also the first and last time (fortunately!) I saw a white lady in front of our gate, I think. I never told anyone until now.
My 12th birthday. I was in grade 6, a graduating student indeed. I had a simple celebration at home with my best buddies in school. After eating, we had the luxury to play and run in front of our gate while we ruin each other with the icing cake. I remember it being so fun!
My 18th birthday. I did not have a debut. We could not afford it. But, the presence of all my friends from grade school, high school, and college made it really memorable. I felt so special that they came to our house, spent a few hours with me, to greet me and to eat my mom’s home-cooked meals despite their busy lives. This was also the first time I introduced suitors to my parents.
My 24th birthday. That was a jump! Oh well, life happened. My 24th birthday is special to me because it was my first birthday celebration with my now husband (then boyfriend). We went to Tagaytay, visited a zoo, watched Taal Volcano and ate Bulalo. He gave me rings and informally proposed to me (no kneeling). It was also the birth of our mini couple tradition and that is, gifting me with a ring on my birthday. Such a brilliant tradition, by the way!
My 27th birthday. The first and only (as of date) surprise out-of-town trip my husband gave me. He arranged our Corregidor tour with the help of his best friend. I was so touched by this move.
My 29th birthday. The first and only time I slept away from Jonath (for just one night). We celebrated my birthday in Boracay, for an overnight stay! hehe, I was 3 months pregnant with Claret then. It was a nostalgic birthday. We knew that when baby no. 2 arrives, we’ll have to wait longer before we could travel alone again. We cherished every single moment of that trip.
Then, life happened again. With the kids in our lives, our birthdays took a back seat. I know it sounds wrong. But honestly, it’s fine with us until we experienced losing someone dear to us. We were reminded of the uncertainties of life. A person could be gone at any moment, so it is important to celebrate life. Of course, we can celebrate everyday but that would be very difficult to do in this cruel busy world. But birthdays, they are just once a year. If we only knew when would be our last birthday, wouldn’t we celebrate it in a special way? My husband and I, we tried to remember how we made our brother-in-law’s last birthday special. For a moment, we were numb. We wanted to cringe in our seats because we realized we did not do anything. We did not even bother to treat him out for a lunch or dinner. If we knew it would be his last birthday with us, would it make any difference? Of course, in fact, it would make all the difference but since it’s almost impossible to predict when a person’s last birthday would be, it is best to celebrate every birthday that will come. Thank God for birthdays, we are given the chance to show our love and to make someone feel special. Celebrate birthdays because it’s just once a year, it’s an ultimate love gesture and you’ll never know if there’ll be a next birthday. Don’t let yourself regret not celebrating your loved ones’ last birthday. Learn from our mistake. I tell you, it was not a nice feeling.
So, yeah, I will celebrate my birthday. I’ll make it special by spending it with the people who matter most to me. I will make sure I’ll enjoy my day and from now on I will give importance to my families’ and friends’ birthdays too. I promise to celebrate more birthdays with them, mine and theirs. I vow to serve as the reminder, binding force, and scheduler for these birthday celebrations to happen. I don’t want to regret missing another chance to celebrate life.