My Daughter Has Moved Her Birthday


On New Year’s Day, my daughter announced that she had officially moved her birthday from Jan. 3 to March 3. Well, not officially. You can’t do anything “officially” without yards of red tape, months of waiting and several people along the way explaining why you can’t do what you want to do. So it’s unofficial, but she did it nonetheless.

I can’t blame the kid. January is the very worst month in which to have a birthday. Everyone is just plain tired of celebrating. Frankly, we were all kind of relieved at her announcement. Of course, as her mother, I texted her a “Happy (real) Birthday” that day, but it was about 2 o’clock before I remembered.

For years, Jen has been the beneficiary of January-type gifts. Those include anything on sale after the holidays because no one else wanted it, or previously delivered expensive Christmas gifts with a tag that said, “This is for your birthday, too.” Great fun on Christmas morning; rather dismal on birthday morning.

And parties? Forget that. It’s usually the first day back at school after a long break, and if there is one thing the teacher is not going to do, it’s interrupt her day to have everybody sing “Happy Birthday” or make construction paper cards.

Even at home, it was tempting to simply stick her candles into stale fruitcake: “There. Happy Birthday.”

This year, on March 3, I am pretty sure she will be expecting a party. Unfortunately, March 3 is a Monday this year. No one starts their work week with a birthday party. She should’ve changed it to March 1 or, better yet, “the first Saturday in March.”

I wonder how you track your horoscope in that situation. (Sample horoscope for those born on the first Saturday in March: You love to have control over your life. You don’t shy away from shattering traditions. Oh, yeah, and you love parties.)

I am sure we will put something together for her on either March 1 or 8. The latter might be more fun, since she’ll be expecting it on former. Plus, I’m out of town on March 1. I’ll send a card: “Happy Birthday. Sorry that even your new date is no good for me.”

It makes me wonder how I fit in her birth at all. Who took the tree down that year with me in the hospital? Or maybe it was the strenuousness of doing it that caused her to be born. Or maybe I had danced on New Year’s Eve. Or scrubbed the kitchen floor. I do remember doing that the day before she arrived.

The only thing worse than a January birthday is a leap year birthday. You only get one shot every four years. Plus, people continually argue how many days February has. It’s hard to plan a party for a day that might or might not exist. You might assume that this year, 2014, has to be a leap year. But no. That was 2012. I feel sorry for the leap year babies. On the other hand, they sort of get to choose when they would like to celebrate. I bet they all choose Friday night or Saturday.

But never, ever Jan. 3. That would just be crazy.