Celebrating My Mother's Birthday
Past Vs. Present
I love celebrating my mother’s birthday. Out of all of my family members, she is the most appreciative. She knows I’m busy and could spend the day doing many other things. If she wants to do something for her birthday, she plans ahead. When I go out with my mother on her special day, I know it will indeed be special. Coupled with her low expectations, it makes planning her birthday relatively easy.
As she was raised in a house with little money, her childhood birthdays weren’t about presents. They were more about savoring her birthday cake and being pampered by her parents and aunts. Yes, she was given a present or two. However, the emphasis wasn’t on presents.
Since my brothers and I were born, the task of making July 28th happy for my mother fell upon us. My oldest brother would make my mom a cake. My middle brother and I would put on a show to entertain her. Once my oldest brother went to college, I became the one to make the cake. Nowadays, I am the only birthday cook and entertainer. I go on day cruises with her. I drive to Maine with her. I make the day all about her.
In our present day world where children expect to be given everything they want despite their parents’ financial situation, it makes me yearn for the world of the 1950s when birthdays seemed to have more meaning. Children didn’t realize they were receiving less presents or, if they did, they didn’t mention it because they were taught to appreciate what they got. Nowadays, kids don’t get the same feeling when they open their presents that children of my mother’s (and even mine) generation did. In a sense, the more they receive the less they get.
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