The Right Time for a Family Celebration – by Jamie
Tomorrow is truly a day for celebrations; Jayda will turn three years old, and on the same important day, I’ll be taking two finals, and finishing up my first semester of school. Following a weekend of birthday celebrations (two of Jayda’s good friends had parties on Saturday that we had to attend, and Jayda’s own party was on Sunday), I’m a bit tired and stressed, and there’s been no time at all for me to study. Worst of all, one of my finals is scheduled for 8:30 in the morning in Queens, which means I have to leave the house before 7 a.m. to get there in time (and my dad will have to drive Jayda to daycare since her center doesn’t even open until 7)…all on Jayda’s birthday. This means I’ll be preoccupied—and rushing to get ready—in the morning, and I’ll have no quality time with my daughter. As a self-professed birthday queen, I find this very distressing since I feel obliged to shower my birthday princess with tons of attention on her special day…starting from the moment we wake up.
At first I considered “postponing” Jayda’s birthday for a day. It’s true that Jayda knows her birthday is on May 18th, but at this point in her life, she doesn’t know when May 18th is—or how many days away it is, exactly. So why can’t her birthday be celebrated on May 19th, instead? If it hadn’t have been for an emergency C-section on the evening of May 18th, Jayda would have been born on the 19th, anyhow. So, I mulled over the idea of moving her birthday this year, talked about it with friends, and even got my parents on board with the idea. But then I changed my mind. Sure, the morning is going to be awful—but more for me than for Jayda—and this day is about her, not me. My parents will be around to make Jayda’s birthday morning wonderful. And since I’m finished with my finals by 1 p.m., I’ll be more than happy to celebrate with Jayda when she gets home from school. Besides, 18 is a lucky number in Hebrew; it symbolizes “chai,” which is the Hebrew word for “life.” I’m so lucky to have Jayda in my life, and should celebrate that on the 18th. And who knows—maybe my May 18th-birthday-girl will bring me some luck on my finals, too.
My final concern, however, was the classroom cupcakes; as I did last year, I’d planned to bake cupcakes for Jayda’s entire class, and I know she’s been looking forward to it (if you ask Jayda what she wants for her birthday, her answer is always “cupcakes!”). But with all the studying I have left to do, it’s impossible to find the time. And when I stopped at Dunkin Donuts the other morning for coffee, I discovered a solution. I’ve always secretly harbored resentment towards the moms who bring in munchkins for celebrations in Jayda’s class; in my opinion, donuts are just about the unhealthiest, most unacceptable food you can give to a kid—much worse for them than my homemade cupcakes. But they sure are convenient snacks. And kids sure do like them. And if there was ever a “special” birthday treat for me to give to Jayda, that’s it—because I never let her have them when I’m around. So, that’s my new plan—munchkins for the class (that my dad offered to buy and drop off at daycare) and a big birthday fuss at home, as well—all on May 18th, the day our celebration was meant to take place. And, while I won’t be eating anything laden with sugar and trans-fats, myself, I think I’ll be able to find something nice to indulge in, too; namely something laden with alcohol!
Happy 3rd birthday to my amazing daughter, Jayda…and happy summer vacation to me!
On another note…my mother and I were interviewed for a pretty interesting essay in the New York Times magazine about “older mothers.” Please check out the link here: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/?p=11969