24 August 2010

The Evolution of Birthdays

I remember my mom planning birthday parties when we were little: baking the cake, blowing up balloons, cleaning the house knowing that us kids would just trash it beyond recognition, renting movies and mentally preparing herself for us to keep her up all night with the giggling and asking for popcorn... And then the late-teen, early adult years. Birthdays turned into watching us rush out the door, barely acknowledging the cake she still dutifully made, as we hurried to spend the occassion with friends instead of family. Then we became actual adults and birthdays meant very little. Sometimes a dinner out, maybe a simple gift, but really it's just another day.

Today I turned 28. Doesn't seem that old, but it took so few years for this day to morph from blissful celebration into just another Tuesday. I'm even going to work tonight for a few hours!

But this is also the age of social media- twitter and facebook rule the day. And that is where I was reminded that birthdays can still be a celebration even if they are just another Tuesday. Friends who were never at slumber parties, ones I was close with for only a short time, ones who seemed lost due to distance and circumstance... they all came to my profile today and posted on my wall. By 1am there were already 5 messages, another 10 before I woke up this morning. As of noon today, 27 people loved me enough to make my birthday their priority for the 5 seconds it took to type and post a message. 5 seconds may not seem like a lot, but it's enough to make me smile.

And my facebook wall is so much easier to clean up than a carpet full of trampled cake.

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