Family / Meaning / Relationships · August 25, 2022

57 and counting

I turn 57 today.

How have I chosen to spend my day today? Quietly and without fanfare. I had a lunch yesterday with my family and eldest sister, Maureen, but have nothing planned for today. Treating it just like any other day.

I would like to say this though. A few days ago, this article was talked about by some netizens.

You can read the article here

The comments reminded me of a conversation I had with my mother about birthdays. We were commenting on how parents these days were going out of their way to celebrate kids’ birthdays. It made us wonder, how much would a 1-year-old or 2-year-old child remember of their extravagant birthday at that age? Is it money well spent? Or is it another example of keeping up with the Joneses?

My mum related how celebrating birthdays was a new thing for her. During her time, no one celebrated birthdays and even if they did, it wasn’t even close to how we celebrate birthdays these days.

Thinking about it, in the 1940s, 50s or 60s going out or even going to another person’s house for a party was a big occasion. Public transport was practically nonexistent, people slept early and only the rich could afford to host parties.

And don’t even get started on a cake. Whether it is big enough or not, how many households do you think had an oven in their homes during those times? And how many bakeries baking the type of cakes that we accept as birthday cakes these days existed then?

Fast forward 50 to 60 years and here we are, sitting in our cozy homes, feeling that we have the right to criticize a lovely father-son moment over the size of the birthday cake.

At the end of the day, it is the commitment of the parent to set aside a bit of time to celebrate this moment with his son that we should focus on. Their time is the greatest gift anyone could ever give you. Once used, no one can ever get that time back again.