cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 10:39pm on 16/04/2009 under ,
Today at 9:32 a.m. was the 50th anniversary of my birth.

It is somewhat out of character for me to discuss my birthday, but after half a century of reticence, I figure I should consider changing my tactics.

You see, I always thought of birthdays as the holiday that one's friends should always remember. In fact, I always thought that remembering someone's birthday was one of the things that defined whether somebody was your friend.

Except my friends never did remember my birthday, somehow, when I was a child. (It didn't help that I'm an only child, so there were no siblings to offer appropriate largesse bribes congratulations.) Maybe that was because I was too proud, or too couth, to say, "Hey, my birthday's on April 16!" But nobody ever asked me when my birthday was, either.

Until I was in college, only my mother consistently remembered my birthday. Even my dad generally screwed up the date (I think he went to his grave believing I'd been born on April 19), and I can't remember him getting me a birthday present, ever. (He was good about Christmas presents, though.)

Birthdays have been much better for me in adulthood. I have a wonderful husband who remembers my birthday; last weekend, he bought me a wonderful romantic birthday dinner at an exclusive, expensive local restaurant. My mother-in-law remembers my birthday consistently too, and sometimes the folk at my office pitch in for a birthday cake or some other communal treat. And at least 3 members of my f-list have remembered my natal day! Thanks again so much all of you.

I don't have much to say about what it feels like to reach my half century. One thing I do have to share is a great poem on that very subject by my favorite poet, Robert Frost. I found it by chance earlier this year while I was looking for something to add to the birthday volume that friends of my sister-in-law (who's also reached her half-century this year) were compiling. I'm not going to use an lj-cut, because it's very short. Here it is.

What Fifty Said

When I was young my teachers were the old.
I gave up fire for form till I was cold.
I suffered like a metal being cast.
I went to school to age to learn the past.

Now when I am old my teachers are the young.
What can't be molded must be cracked and sprung.
I strain at lessons fit to start a suture.
I go to school to youth to learn the future.
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful

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