The Happy Birthday
Let’s all take a moment and talk about birthdays, shall we?
Have you ever paused while stuffing yourself with cake and thought about just how tremendously humbling birthdays are?
Even if each person has their own uniquely twisted ideas of their ideal birthday, there is one common ingredient that makes the ‘happy’ in the ‘Happy Birthday!’
A bunch of people who are not related to you by blood, but who go out of their way in every way possible, just to make you feel a little gladder that you were born; and more importantly, show you how glad they are that you were born.
It makes you think— what did you ever do so right?
That people would sacrifice their precious sleep to come up with The Perfect Gift and painstakingly see it through until their fingers ached and their eyes turned red and their face hurt from smiling at the look on your face.
That they would completely forget that they have a life, for a day, and rush all over town like madmen, arranging your scandalous dream party, and end up eating everything they paid for themselves (and not really caring, either.)
That they would stash their phones into their pockets every time you walked in, with ridiculous poker-faces, just to keep the surprise as surprising as possible (and exit the birthday group several times in the process.)
That they would not drink coffee for an entire week (oh, the pain) so as to splurge on the ridiculously expensive book you’ve been craving for and watch you blub like a baby.
That they would simply be there, in full body and soul (maybe a little extra soul), on your special day, succeeding like bosses in making you feel like a billion and a half dollars, and somehow end up feeling rather special themselves. Because somewhere along the gazillion phone calls, hurried selfies, and making your day- their day was made, too.
So on your next birthday, as you float around like a hyperactive pixie, stop for a second and look around.
You’ll see your friends observing you closely, trying to gauge your happiness level. Looking away quickly as you stare back at them, blushing slightly at having been caught.
Do you see their eyes shining? Do you see their lips curling up into little contented smirks? Do you see them high-fiving each other quietly? Do you see them glow?
It is all because of you. Because that’s just how much they love you. You, in your glorious, imperfect entirety.
If that doesn’t make you feel humbled, I don’t know what will.
And do you know who is the happiest on your birthday?
No, not you, you self-absorbed ninny.
It is the people who made you. Your parents.
Look at them as they look at you and your friends, laughing your hearts out. You see that softness in their eyes?
It’s because their hearts could burst with joy right then and there, because you’ve found people who love you almost as much as they do. And they didn’t really think it’d be possible.
It’s because you look like you’re having the best day of your life and you can’t quite believe your luck, just like they can’t quite believe theirs.
It is because they realize, with a bittersweet tug at their heart-strings, that you’ll be just fine when they won’t be around anymore.
Because there will be people around you who won’t ever let you drift away, even if they had to tie you up in bubble wrap and lock you away for the rest of your life.
On your next birthday, remember that it’s not just your special day.
It is a special day for every single soul that makes it special, too.
Image Source: flickr.com