Friday, August 24, 2007

Special Delivery

Why do people celebrate their birthdays? Can anyone tell me? What’s the significance of celebrating the day you were born? Don’t get me wrong, I love the day. You get all kinds of presents or money, or, even if you are alone, you can always use it as an excuse to eat fattening food like cake without anyone yelling at you. But it has always been a mystery, to many people, why you would celebrate on this day.

Before we dive too far into that, let’s get one thing straight here. It is NOT your birthday. It is, in fact, the anniversary of the day you were born. With the way it’s named, and how some people celebrate it, you’d swear the person was born each and every year all over again. If that was the case, trust me on this one, the mother would have killed herself LONG ago.

Now that we have this settled, let’s begin the discussion. Why do people celebrate this day? The only reason it’s on the day it’s on is because you were stuck in your mother’s body and wanted out. So, is it a celebration of the day you escaped? Why does the mother celebrate this day with you? Imagine all of the pain she was put through while you were ‘escaping’ that day. That doesn’t seem like such a fond memory. Then again, she might be celebrating the day her initial ‘burden’ was finally relieved. The father’s part is obvious. In fact, I bet it was the father’s idea to come up with this day, just so he can say, “Yup, I did that! And it’s stayed alive this long so far!” The kid celebrating is just going along with it. “Hey, I get stuff for free, I can eat cake and ice cream without my parents yelling at me, and I can do anything I want!” Okay, that’s not how it is for everyone, but some kids are treated better then others.

It’s not even accurate anyway! Everyone says you are ‘so many’ years old TODAY! But, actually, you are ‘so many’ years and about nine months. Let’s not forget the time you spent in the womb. You were alive then too. So, you are not that old, you are older, by almost a full year! So, the birthday celebration is on the wrong day anyway. It should be the day of conception. It was a lot more fun anyway, don’t you think? Certainly a much fonder memory, and the day would be accurate for the kid’s age. Then again, I don’t think we need to traumatize little Timmy any more than we already do when we tell him how he was made. The last thing we need is a bunch of adults, gathering around the conception-day presents and telling stories.

Now, I’m not telling everyone to stop celebrating birthdays, nor am I saying you should celebrate them differently, but I do want you all to think about it. Next time you blow out those candles, think about the years ahead of you, as the cake becomes more and more of a fire hazard, and as your own children celebrate their ‘birthdays’ along with you, and think about everything I’ve said here. If nothing else, I hope it brings a little chuckle.

To everyone celebrating, Happy Anniversary.


Anonymous said...

Two things, short and sweet.
1. Befor modern medicine a very high percentage of babies didn't live to see their 1st "birthday". So the celebration of achieving one full year of life was very important. After that, every year you lived was a landmark toward reaching adulthood.
2. Some countries do measure age from conception. The reason we don't here? See above statment.

Ginny said...

Whom ever Anonymous was must of done some research. They misspelled before though. That was a very good blog. you covered some very good reasons for celebrating the time before birth. My husband said that the reason they didn't celebrate the birthday from conception was you are not alive till birth. I had to remind him that you are alive from conception on. We had a very good discussion on this. He than agreed with me. As a mother I can associate every thing you said about the subject with you. I got a chuckle out of some of the comments you made. Keep up the good work. Ginny