Birthday Musings

“Mummy, when will it be my birthday?”

This is a popular question my four-year-old daughter keeps asking almost every time she hears the word ‘birthday’ and I believe it comes with being born in November and seeing almost everyone celebrate theirs before yours.

When I was much younger, I anticipated my birthdays too and that got me giddy whenever it was approaching. Birthdays then, were more of a time to eat special meals and get extra money from my guardians. Years later, birthdays meant receiving and responding to wishes over the phone and on social media. Some of the messages on social media did make me feel exceptionally special and I never wanted the day to end.

About seven years ago, I deleted my birth date from Facebook, LinkedIn and all other social media platforms and I was stunned at how quiet my birthday was. I received birthday messages from two very close friends and my family. The two friends wrote messages on the Whatsapp group pages that we belonged to and that generated more wishes and that was it. I enjoyed the peace that came with that birthday and I left the settings on the social media pages as such. That gave birth to my new way of celebrating my birthdays.

My preference for quiet birthdays has even heightened the more as I grow and a cousin who also celebrates his birthday in June (a few days before mine) always comments,

“Birthdays are indications that you are drawing closer to the grave.” This sounds funny by when you think about it, it is true. My preference for quiet birthdays in recent times do not imply I sit the whole days and reflect on my death. Mostly on my birthdays, I eat cake, go to dinner or make dinner myself and eat with the family and the newest activity is to generally spend time reflecting and praying.

In these quiet moments, I begin to appreciate what God has done for me in the past year and I start to look forward to the new year (age). One of the areas that I cannot thank God enough is how much I have grown – not in physical terms – but in maturity and within my spirit. I have learned to be appreciative of who I am as an individual, what I stand for and where God wants me to be. I have learned to be comfortable in my skin and to enjoy my own company. I am more forgiving. I can withstand very challenging situations without giving up on my faith (which wasn’t so in the past) and I love myself more.

On this day as I celebrate a little over three decades of life on earth, it is my prayer that God continues to preserve my life as He takes me through another 365 days of getting to know Him some more.

How do you normally celebrate your birthdays? Has it changed over time? Do share.

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A Letter to my one-year-old Daughter 

Dear Charis,

I know you too young to read this, but, here is a chronicle of our mother-daughter relationship in the past year. Here it goes:

You were so good to me during my pregnancy days that a lot of people did not even notice I was expecting a child. No sicknesses, no weight-gain, no tiredness, in fact, I was more active and alive during those nine months. I felt blessed and was anxious to meet this special child who had been so good to me.

Our first meeting wasn’t ‘love at first sight,’ though. My body had undergone too much shock the previous evening, up till the dawn of Sunday, to bring you into this world. All I felt was pain from the stitches down there and relief from those terrible contractions. I experienced a new kind of admiration for all mothers and my love for you developed when I finally recovered from that shock.

Throughout the 368 days, we’ve spent together, I can imagine the sort of woman you’ll grow into. Very vibrant, full-of-life, energetic, sharp and from the way you raise your legs to dance to tunes from adverts on TV, you’ll probably love music or dancing, just like your father. I can imagine you’d be one strong-willed woman from the way you reject food or refuse to sleep when we force you.

I do pick up lessons from you each day, you know. You don’t give up till you are perfect at a particular skill, even if it means falling several times. You forgive easily, by smiling or laughing when we make mistakes and accidents occur. You are obedient and even at this age, you know the things that can make mummy or daddy spark.

I would like you to know you are dear to us.You are our early Christmas and wedding anniversary gift from God.  Grow gracefully into the beautiful woman that God has destined you to be. We love you very much and I look forward to writing more letters to you every year while you grow.😊

Happy birthday to you once again!

With love from your mum and on your dad’s behalf,

The Sogahs