26.

I have always loved my birthday. For as long as I can remember, the month of June with the number 14 trailing behind it has given me a special little thrill. When I was working in an office and would come across the date on a random piece of paperwork, I would smile to myself and think, “That’s my birthday.” Historical events that took place on that day seemed to carry special significance to me when I heard about them (though admittedly they’d fall out of my brain almost immediately afterwards). I was almost inevitably disappointed every year, no matter how good my birthday was, because my expectations of awesomeness were so high, as I counted down the days with arm-flailing excitement (I remember one year in high school, I started counting down the days at 65).

This year, my birthday kind of snuck up on me. I blinked, and it was June 5. I blinked again, and it was June 12 (the day that I am writing this). I didn’t have time to anticipate my birthday with aggravating single-mindedness, I guess. Or maybe I’m just growing up a little.

My obsession with my birthday is a bit of a paradox when I think about it, because I look upon the passage of time with such deep-seated fear. I am forever scrambling to hold onto the passing moments, lamenting the speed with which days slip through my fingers. So one would think that I would abhor my birthday, marker of the passage of time that it is. But I don’t. Despite its tendency to disappoint me over the years, I can’t think of a single birthday that was less than good. It is still my favorite day of the year. Maybe it is because it comes on the cusp of spring and summer, when I tend to be fully emerging from my winter-induced depression coma. Maybe because it is a time when things get to just be about me. For whatever the reason, I continue to look forward to June 14 with child-like excitement every year. I wonder how long that will last, if I will always adore it the way I do now. Our society says no, that we are to fear aging with all the strength we have, and that women in particular have an expiration date, and I should wail and tear my hair at the thought of getting older. But I don’t. While I still think with discomfort at how quickly the years are passing, and that I am now in the late half of my twenties, I am grateful for the time that I have already been given, and hopeful that I will be given much more. Aging, after all, is a privilege, and one that I hope to take full advantage of.

This year, our plans were simple. We saw Jurassic World at the VIP theatre with my brother- and sister-in-law. We went to Julio’s Barrio for bulldogs and amazing Mexican food with a few good friends. We headed back home to Sylvan Lake to hang out with my family for the day, nothing special, just the people I love, a home-cooked meal, and a pie. Simple pleasures that weren’t killed by sky-high expectations.

So June 14 has passed for another year, and I am staring 26 in the face. I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one.

How do you feel about your birthday? What did you do for your last one?

26.

Robin

 

Photo by Kaihla Tonai © 2014
Photo by Kaihla Tonai © 2014

This girl, you guys.

She’s turning 15 today. Time seems to be slipping by faster than I can even comprehend it, because I’m pretty sure that just last week, my mom was sitting me down at the kitchen table to tell me she was having another baby. I’m pretty sure just the other day, my baby sister was a literal baby, falling asleep on my chest while I lay on the couch watching TV after school.

But alas, no. She has grown into an incredible young woman who baffles me every day with how kind-hearted, generous-spirited, and genuinely good she is. She makes me proud with her voracious appetite for books (having her read and enjoy one of my recommendations is a huge highlight for me) and in her, I see a kindred, introverted spirit. She is quirky and wonderful and as much as I wish I could make time stop, I would never, because then I would be depriving myself and the world of an amazing person.

Happy birthday, Robin. Love you so much more than I could have ever dreamed possible.

Robin