Birthday Bedlam

Posted by Ben Stevens on

It has been a whirlwind Fall for our family to say the least with mixture of good and bad.  Here is a quick snapshot of just this past weekend; two kids with colds, we worked around 30 hours for the business, I ran a dog to the vet after eating chicken bones and bleeding, I also had a kid at the hospital after they fainted, our youngest may have picked up pinworms and today is Lisa's birthday.  Make sure you take a moment and wish her a happy birthday.

Despite all the chaos, which amazingly has not even been the craziest weekend this Fall, I got thinking about birthdays.  I am one of those people that is not a giant fan of birthdays and it likely has to do with the size of our family and a bit of my past experiences.  I am not really a grump about it though and do my best to make our families birthdays special for them.  I want to share a few stories of birthdays and why I think I have gradually grown to dislike birthdays.

One of the greatest things that can ruin birthdays or holidays or any day is sickness and we have had our fair share of birthday illnesses.  We have sort of a running joke that I am always sick with a cold during Lisa's birthday.  It is in December, which is prime cold season, but I have had several colds aligned with her birthday.  One of the worst birthdays for illness was when I was sick with pneumonia over my birthday.  I am sure most if not all of you have had someone's birthday ruined due to illness.  And for any of you thinking, he does it just to get out of doing stuff for her birthday, you would be wrong.  I love doing stuff for Lisa, just ask her and she'll tell you.  

Then there are things that just have to be done on a birthday that can make it less special.  For most it is a job that doesn't recognize birthdays as national holidays.  We have been pretty fortunate with pretty flexible jobs most our lives.  That doesn't mean that there haven't been things we have had to do on our birthdays.  We have worked various markets on birthdays because when you are self employed you need to work when you have the opportunity.  Sometimes it can be self inflicted work such as my 40th birthday when I spent most of the day building a chicken coop for chickens that were being delivered the next day and we had no home for them.  While it really stunk on that particular day, it's kind of a funny memory that made my 40th birthday very memorable.

Then there are those of us whose birthdays fall on either a bad date or time of year.  My mother in laws birthday is December 31th and while we do our best the reality is Christmas and New Year and our anniversary (30th) tends to get precedent.  My mother's is in August and while it make parties nice since they can be outside, summertime is often a hard time to get people all together in one place with vacations.   My birthday in May quite often falls on Mother's Day, which makes it a perfect storm of celebrating Lisa and our two mothers along with birthday.


One of my favourite memories regarding my birthday was back in high school when my mom planned a surprise birthday party on the Sunday evening.  That year it was on the same day as Mother's Day, the same as it is this coming year.  The whole day seemed to be all about my mom and we did the things she wanted to do and I did my best to be loving about it and did the usual Mother's Day things you do for a mom.  Inside my head though, as a kid, I couldn't help but feel I was being forgotten on this day.  The tables turned however when my grandfather accidentally let slip about them having a surprise birthday party for me that night.  I did not react so he believed I did not catch his slip up but I did and took full advantage of my new found knowledge.  That night when my friends suddenly burst into our family room shouting HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  I turned around to surprise them with a fully loaded water gun.

One last birthday memory was one of my mother's birthdays that we held at our old house.  The birthday was fun and everyone had a good time but it was a photo that made it one of my favourite birthdays I have ever attended.  My mom decided to try out our hammock and if you have ever used a hammock they can be quite tricky.  Thankfully it was close to the ground because she went in one side and out the other.  The result was a fantastic photograph that you can enjoy located just below this paragraph.  


Birthdays are special days but can also be days we don't all look forward to with great excitement.  For some, just the thought of aging can be very hard to deal with.   While I think it is great to wish people a happy birthday and let them know you are thinking about them just be mindful that we don't all feel the same way about birthdays.  And even for those of us who aren't crazy about birthdays there are the occasional great ones.  I hope that today will be such a birthday for Lisa and she will look back fondly on this day.  Happy Birthday Lisa!  I only posted one picture of you in this article since it is your birthday.  

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