I believe this is further evidence that motherhood has made me crazy.
Let me explain.
We have fallen into a particular birthday tradition with our boys. Nothing fancy or especially unique, but its sweetness, I think, is in its simplicity. When the birthday boy wakes up, he finds his gifts, card, birthday hat (those cute little headband-looking things they make in kindergarten and preschool that proclaim "Today I am 5!"), and a bunch of balloons in the dining room. After Hubby and I take a million pictures of him opening his presents, hoping at least one captures the sheer joy of the perfectly selected gift (okay, that's just me obsessing and taking pictures; Hubby just enjoys the moment), the birthday boy is presented with a pancake with Hershey's syrup for curly hair and an M&M happy face. For this birthday, Hubby and I (and big brother, Ben) are especially excited about the birthday morning, since Aidan Kai is receiving a major gift: his first, not-a-hand-me-down, real-deal mountain bike in his very favorite color: blue.
That's all cute and sweet and all that, you are surely thinking, but what the hell does that have to do with pretending his birthday is one day later? You might assume it's because the bike is not here on time. That would make total and complete sense. And would make me way more sane and normal than I actually, apparently, am.
The reason we have all chosen to pretend today is not, in fact, August 8th, is because our little one wanted to celebrate his birthday with his pseudo-godmother (and one of my favorite people in the whole world) and her grandchildren. She lives a few hours away, and surprised him with a night stay at a water park resort, and the only day we could do it was the night before his birthday. (Hang in there, I'm getting to the point.) So that meant that we woke up on the real morning of his birthday in the resort, and then a good portion of the day was spent driving home. (You see where I'm going with this, right?) So if he knew that today was his birthday, I would have had to take his bike up there (ridiculously out of the question) or give him his big surprise when we got home, after driving for hours and all of us being cranky and tired and ready to just do laundry (me), eat (all of us), watch TV (them), and go to sleep (again, all of us). No sweet little birthday breakfast. No excited, messy-haired, sleepy-eyed 5-year-old tearing open presents. No pancake birthday face.
So, I was faced with a conundrum (within my own head, I understand). And although I know we could have skipped some of the minor traditions listed above, Í know that really, I could not.
And so, thankfully, I am surrounded by people who not only know my craziness, they love me anyways (or maybe a little bit because of it?), and are more than happy to go along with it. So everyone involved (and I do mean everyone) is pretending that today is August 7th (luckily his birthday is in the summer, because I could never get away with this during the school year), because--to further complicate things--he knows his birthday is August 8th. So if you happen to bump into my kid today, and he asks, it's the frickin' 7th, dammit.
Tomorrow, after the Big Breakfast Gift Giving Bonanza, we will have family and our bestest friends meet us at the beach for a little celebration. And everyone will probably giggle as they wish him Happy Birthday. There will probably be a moment where someone will forget and slip and say something about his birthday having been yesterday, and I will nudge them sharply in the ribs with my elbow, and obsess over whether my 5-year-old suspected anything.
I know, I am fucking nuts.
All day long today, I have looked over at him lovingly, privately wishing him a "Happy birthday" in my head, wondering how the hell my little baby turned 5 and is ready for kindergarten.
And felt guilty.
Because of course, if I could just do all this scheming and just go with it, it would not be as crazy as I actually am, because I also have obsessed (a teeny bit, but still) that maybe it's just wrong that he doesn't know that today he is five!
When we woke up this morning in the hotel room, I was dying to jump on his bed, shouting, "Happy Birthday Big Boy! Today is your birthday!" But I settled for what I've been calling him since we left to our friend's house two days ago on his birthday trip: "My birthday boy." Don't worry; I don't think he noticed that I said it about a million times this morning: Good morning, Birthday Boy! How did you sleep, Birthday Boy? Did you have fun on your trip, Birthday Boy? Are you excited about tomorrow, Birthday Boy? Did you brush your teeth, Birthday Boy?
Before I had my kids, I swore I'd never be One Of Those Moms. And in many ways, I'm not. I leave them "behind" (often) with family members so Hubby and I can have date nights and travel and pretend we don't have children. I never put a "Baby on Board" magnet on my car, or one of those stick family collections on my rear window. I refuse to drive a mini van. I don't gush about my children to random people (much). I still shave my legs every other day and do my manicures weekly so my husband will consider me a hottie. I don't scrapbook. I will never record my child's voice as my greeting on my voicemail in an attempt to be super cute and adorable. And I will never, ever, ever tell a pregnant woman that she is so super duper lucky because she is a walking miracle and is about to enter the happiest most magical time in her whole life and that she will never wonder what the hell she got herself into.
But lately, I've started to catch glimpses of myself that prove that really, I am One Of Those Moms. And I am realizing that we are all, in fact, to some degree or another, One Of Those Moms. Because we do corny things and put an inordinate amount of importance on minor things and fret and worry and gush and cry at preschool ceremonies and make M&M happy face pancakes...all in the name of Motherhood.
So, today I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to my littlest one...my baby...my soft, squishy, sweet boy...my Aidan Kai.
(But for today, let's just keep it between us, shall we?)