On birthdays

While I was laying in bed, not sleeping, for the 9th day in a row, this post kept running through my head. Unless I want it to come up again, I figure I ought to write it. I don’t remember most of my birthdays. I mean, I had them. There were parties and gifts and friends. There are a few, however, that stand out, and those are the ones I’m writing about today.

When I was 16, my birthday took place in Indiana. My minister uncle chose my birthday as the day he should get married to his now-ex-wife. I got to see a lot of his exchange students that were allowed to come over for his wedding, all for the first time. I developed a crush on one of them. The boys, feeling bad that I was celebrating far from home, went to several stores until they managed to find a bag of Idaho potatoes, so I’d have a little bit of home. That’s one shining memory I will hold on to for as long as I can. They cared enough about this girl they’d never met to do something to ease the homesick. (Of course, now my uncle can’t wish me a happy birthday without dragging his marriage into it. I think last year was “you’ve lasted longer than my marriage did” or something like that. And before you ask, yes, he knew it was my birthday and he chose it anyways.)

I graduated from high school 9 days before my 18th birthday. In less than two months, I would be leaving home for the first time (for more than a week) and going out, on my own, into the “real” world. My boyfriend at the time had been out of town and had gotten permission to come back, just for my birthday. My then-best-friend was visiting her grandparents (who were our neighbors) for the summer, so she was also home. The morning of my birthday dawns, my friend comes waltzing through the sliding glass door in the back yard (never locked, and that’s how she always came in), comes towards my room and sees me sobbing on my parents’ bed. She whirls on my boyfriend and screams “What did you do to her?? So help me God, if you did this, I am going to KILL YOU!” (Did I mention she hated him? The feeling was fairly mutual.) He says “I didn’t do it! I woke up and she was like this!” She got me calmed down, I explained. I wasn’t ready to leave home. I didn’t want to go to college. I didn’t want to be away from my parents and the people that I knew. She couldn’t understand – she was 2 years younger and couldn’t WAIT to leave. This birthday just all around sucked – jealousy and controlling behaviors around every corner, fear and sadness.

My 21st birthday found me married to my ex-husband. He was a mentally abusive and controlling man. He had separated me from any who would call me friend. He would have separated me from my parents if he thought he could get away with it. My birthday was simply meh. We went to a bar, had a few drinks to “celebrate”, and that was it. I had always envisioned so much more for my 21st birthday. I mean, I could legally drink! I would go on a bar run with a bunch of friends, get drunk off my ass, and have fun. Nope.

Four years later would find me divorced by 22, engaged to another man at 24, and he left me 4 before I turned 25. By the time my birthday rolled around, I had been truly single for the first time in my life for 4 months. The only friends I still had were his, I never HAD had any of my own. Not that he prevented me, but because I didn’t make new friends very well and they would have had to be able to mesh with the ones he already had and I LIKED them. I figured we’d always be together, so it was fine. Except we weren’t, and it wasn’t. I threw my own party at the bar we all still went to and they all came. It was the last time I saw or talked to most of them, until the past year or two when I touched base on FB. How sad is it that I threw my own party at a bar?

I expected 30 to be hard and it wasn’t. It was disappointing, in a few days, though. Aaron’s aunt and uncle had always made a big deal out of people turning 30. When I was 28, his aunt told me to watch out because she’d get me when I wasn’t expecting it. Yeah, well, she forgot apparently. She didn’t do anything for Aaron either, despite doing it for all the other kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews. I think that was the same year his parents completely forgot to even wish me a happy birthday in the first place. So it wasn’t hard, as far as birthdays go, it was just upsetting because no one cared.

Today marks 35. I didn’t expect this one to be hard, but it is. Last year I was still deep in the mommy-sleep-deprived fog. I can’t remember what we did, or where we went. I’m sure Aaron sent me off for a massage or we went on a date or something, but I honestly can’t remember. This year…this year is hard. I don’t know why, but it feels hard. I was crying in the car for no particular reason yesterday. I feel all “doooooom” and stuff. We are heading for a trip to Wolf Creek Resort in UT tomorrow and will be back on Saturday. I…don’t feel like it’s a vacation because we are taking The Boy. (yes, I know how terrible that sounds.) I wouldn’t leave him with anyone anyways, because I trust no one with him. He’s my family, he goes with me. But honestly, a few days without him? THAT sounds heavenly. There’s so much involved with him, he’s so intense, he needs so much. It’s draining. But hey, I wanted this, right? No complaining for me! I’m just really, really depressed (if you couldn’t guess from my last post), I suppose. Maybe some time in a new place without the computer will be restful.  I wish I knew why this one feels so hard for me – 35 isn’t that big of a deal, unless you’re still trying to get pregnant. 🙂

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  1. Happy birthday!

    I think birthdays in general can be hard because it’s like we expect/want them to be special … but especially when you have a baby it’s just another day. Diapers to be changed, meals to be made, sleep to miss.

    And you’ve got a lot going on with Cole and getting geared up for that surgery to have it postponed and now having to gear up again.

    Today you’re only one day older than you were yesterday, and tomorrow will just be one day more … and there’s sort of this “birthdays are supposed to be special” feeling that just doesn’t really pan out.

  2. Happy birthday!


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