There was nothing I could do. It was too late so to speak. My teacher announced to the class that today we were celebrating October birthdays and I was mentioned in the list. What? How? Last time I checked my birthday was in July. I tried to get her attention numerous times to no avail. I guess somehow when I transferred to 5th grade, my birth date was not, and instead a fall month was attached to my name. After another attempt I stated to the teacher that it was not my birthday. As awkward as I felt my teacher just asked me to play along, because she already got me a present and obviously it wouldn’t be fair for some other reason I can’t remember. So I agreed to be a birthday girl. For the sake of my teacher’s honor, and for the sake of . . . fairness. Having the stamp of approval I felt more at ease and joined in the games prepared for us, all along reminding myself that October something was my birthday for today.
Sometime last week it was my real July birthday, but in all the busyness that comes with camping, I hardly had the chance to remember that it was so. Instead of trying to fit in a celebration in between, I decided to postpone it. Seeing an empty calendar space on Friday night I called up my friends to spend my birthday with me. This time it was not just me pretending, but my friends as well. In all their niceness they even got me gifts and wished me a happy birthday, but thankfully spared me of the birthday song! Leaning on the back of the chair wrapped in a blanket from the midnight breeze, I looked with amazement and gratitude at the group of people that joined me on my backyard patio. If friends agree that it’s your birthday when you say it is, they’re real friends. You better hold on to them with a strong grasp. With the last goodbyes and hugs I retreated to our backyard swing to sway to the melancholy chimes breaking the silence in the distance. I sat there just long enough for the cold to get to me and to reflect on how blessed I am, how loved, an unbelievably even more content and happy than last year. Getting up to leave I smiled one last time that a different date was yet again my birthday for today.