It's the eve of my thirty-second birthday. I'm not really doing or feeling anything profound, but I am sitting on the couch with a belly full of chicken wings, watching junkie TV on The CW. It's sort of my guilty pleasure.
Birthdays have always been the best days. As a kid, the actual, entire world revolved around you for one whole day. It was easy then, of course. As a kid, your actual, entire world consists of approximately two people. You recognize them as "mom" and "dad." That's their job -- to revolve around you. Especially on your birthday.
"You can do whatever you want, Krista. You're the birthday girl."
I've found that in the real world, as an adult (this age tends to qualify me as such, unfortunately), birthdays are a little lackluster. Truly, no one gives a shit, and that's okay. It is. We're adults.
OK, fine. It's sad. But it's okay.
But there's always this small, childlike piece of me that secretly hopes to wake up to a bedroom full of balloons. Or a cake. Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Everyone is excited and gives you birthday hugs. Everywhere you turn are birthday surprises and birthday wishes. Literally every single person you come across knows it's your birthday, and you don't have to obey speed limits or go to work or pay your bills. You get to just be the birthday girl. Probably I would wear a cape.
I would definitely wear a cape.
However, I live alone, so it's most likely that I'll wake up to hungry cats, a cold apartment, an early alarm and a bowl of Lucky Charms. Like every single day ever. Which isn't terrible, let's be honest. Lucky Charms? Amazing.
All of that said, I will always be that cake and balloons birthday girl in my parents' eyes, and that will never get old. Year after year after childhood into adulthood, they will continue to make me feel like the center of the universe on February 4th. I think that's the benefit of being someone's child. You're always their child. Even when you don't want to be considered a child, even when you're about to be 32 years old, there's always comfort in being someone's birthday girl.
The real world can be boring and stressful and full of responsibilities, and sometimes you just want to pin the tail on the damn donkey.
Tomorrow I'll wake up to phone calls and texts and hugs from afar from the two people who'll love me more than anyone ever will because they created me. It might be my birthday, but it's a day just as special for them. I turned their family from three to four. I gave them another daughter. I became the baby and the little sister. Without them, there is no me. Is that what it's like to be a parent? Because that's kind of neat. I mean, having cats is pretty fun, too. But parents have a pretty cool job.
Tomorrow may be my birthday, and it will undoubtedly be a wonderful day with a few less balloons and ponies than perhaps 25 years ago, but I think my mom and dad deserve a bit of the special, too. I am who I am not only because of them, but thanks to them.
So, happy My Birthday to them. Thank you for all of my 32 years, for all of my 32 birthdays, and for always making my favorite cake. I love you.