My birthday has been a source of hurt and resentment for my entire life.
I was born on December 25. For as long as I can remember, the fact it was my birthday was something that got in the way of everyone’s Christmas.
I felt invisible in my family and a birthday is one day you hope everyone notices you.
It was tradition to go to my grandparents house to meet up with aunts, uncles and cousins.
My mother did her best to encourage family and even my siblings to take notice.
The fact they needed to be reminded year after year added to my already feeling like an outsider.
When I became a parent the attention naturally shifted to my boys.
I began noticing myself feeling angry each year as my birthday got closer. Feeling guarded and wanting to be left alone.
For many Christmas’s I agreed to a cake Cath was generous enough to bake but I was left with a feeling of guilt.
Like I was in the way and burdening her on my own birthday. Gee, wonder where that came from.
Now comes this week. Cath and the boys had the idea of doing Christmas on Christmas Eve and just Christmas being for my birthday.
In my almost 51 years of life I’ve never had that offer.
I went through feelings of confusion, anger, resistance, sadness and finally today I cried.
I realized I didn’t know how to enjoy my birthday. I also realized I was sick of having them ruined every year.
This year we’re going to start a new tradition. I’m eager to see how it feels for once.