Tomorrow is Jake’s twelfth birthday. He’s at camp, so I won’t get to talk to him. We tried a birthday phone call last year, but it was a little disastrous. There’s something about kids when they’re away from home: they’re fine until they hear your voice. The birthday phone call wrecked all of us, so we decided not to do it this year.
Jake OKd this plan. Hearing our voices made him cry (don’t tell him I told you!), and he agreed that it would be better for him to just celebrate with his camp-mates. Knowing that this was coming, we totally celebrated his half-birthday in January – party, cake, gifts, dinner out, everything. We did that so that we would feel better about not doing any of it for his real birthday. But no matter how hard I tried, it just felt…fake. Like celebrating Christmas in March.
And now that his real birthday is almost here, I feel weird again.
Having a summer birthday sucks for many reasons. You don’t get to bring cupcakes in to your class. You don’t know who should be invited to parties – Jake doesn’t really talk to his school friends over the summer. And so many of our friends go away in the summer that there was one year we had to cancel his party altogether.
So for those reasons, Jake being gone for his birthday makes it a little easier. It’s not like he’s missing out on an ideal birthday situation. And the camp will make a big deal out of it.
But even though we said no gifts (he got them six months ago!) I did time a care package to arrive tomorrow. At least he’ll have something to open. And, we’ll get to see him at visiting day this Saturday – just five days after his birthday.
Still, it will be weird for the first time ever tomorrow not to talk to my firstborn on his birthday. I’m not sad about it – I’ve come to terms with the fact that I seem to be missing the sentimental “Oh God, I miss my kids!” gene. They’re gone having fun, not lost at sea.
But I will be upset if I find out that Jake is sad. Nobody should be sad on their birthday. My hope for him is that he’s so busy tomorrow he completely forgets he didn’t get to talk to us. Or that he’s so sugared up on the camp’s birthday cake that he doesn’t care.
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