"Hey it's your Dad, I just wanted to let you know that we did get you a birthday present. We haven't forgotten about you. I didn't know that your Mom didn't get it to you. Quite frankly she forgot ... So don't fret. We didn't forget about you. I know you're fretting, so that's why I called."
I received this voicemail eleven days after my birthday. It has been a standard practice for my dad to be gone on my birthday, making phone calls from him on that day especially important, and a big fuss over me of equal importance. It wasn't really his fault - he was committed to an activity before I was born and it turns out it takes place at the same time every year. I have forgiven him. But growing up I did expect a daddy-daughter date as soon as he came back into town... which I always received. This was part of the big fuss I expected to surround me every year.
You might think that as I grew up I would be less of a five-year-old about this day.
Every July 28 I morph back into my five-year-old self, anxiously waiting for every member of my family to call me, staring down the Mister until he remembers and wishes me birthday greetings, reminding my parents that they still owe me a present. If it bothers them, they don't complain about it to me so I see no reason to change my behaviors and expectations.
This year the fuss around my birthday has exceeded my wildest dreams! I have been receiving presents since July 24 and there is still one in the mail. This has been the longest birthday celebration of my entire life!! I figure, as long as I am still receiving presents, it is still my birthday. True logic, eh? Plus my birthday kicked off our week long beach vacation - and I still have a nice tan from that trip, which is like another present in itself!
So that is why I didn't cry and complain when my parents finally handed over my birthday gift, on August 12, fifteen days after my birthday. I have been especially blessed this year, or perhaps especially selfish and self-absorbed. Call it what you will - but I am relishing the birthday celebration of 2012! And the little five-year-old in me has been giggling with delight.
Ya done me good family, ya done me real good!