Apr
12
2012

  Drew My Line in the Sand

I told W he was going to turn three tomorrow. Now there's no more room to delay, so I have some real incentive to wrap some gifts tonight once he's abed. One of his grandmothers called on his actual birthday, but I didn't pick up and made enough noise while she left a message for him that he didn't hear the message. I'll play it for him tomorrow. Now the grandmother who actually reads every post of this blog can feel free to call tomorrow since I've declared the birthday.

I was thinking about this strategy while I was out for our afternoon walk. I initially thought that I could only fudge the birthdate while my kids are pre-literate and don't read the calendar. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I actually had way more control than that. What are the odds that I can have cake and presents ready for each child each year exactly on their birthday? I'll tell you, they're slim to none. Sure, I could put a lot of effort into planning and make lists and stuff and stress out about it and get it together most years, probably. But not every year. I assure you that something would derail me.

Sometimes I wish that I could just handle things normally like the vast majority of women out there, who can buy some presents, wrap them, bake a cake, invite some friends over even, all without batting an eye. Maybe in the future I will BE one of those women, I haven't given up on a neurofeedback cure for the ADD. But for the foreseeable future, this level of organization is beyond me.

But I like my new idea very much. Now I'm thinking not so much that I've moved my son's birthdate for this year, but that it can be on a different day EVERY year. And I need not tell him in advance. This can just be "the way it's done" in our household. Mama carefully selects which day in April will be the very best day to turn a year older, and that's when it will be. W need never have his birthday fall on a rainy day, or during Lent, or when he's sick. He need not have a birthday on a day when either of his parents are busy, or have something they need to do with his brother. The sun can always shine on Will's birthday. How sad for all the other kids who have their birthdays the day of big tests, or thunderstorms, or when one of their parents is out of town. W will have a mysteriously floating birthday that roams about the entire month. Maybe even some years it's not in April?

Our whole notion of time is terribly arbitrary, so I don't feel bad about treating it that way. Is there any physiological change that takes place in one's body exactly when the planet reaches a similar spot in its orbit as the year before? And in the collective consciousness, isn't the past, present, and future all taking place simultaneously anyway? There is a lot going on at the quantum level of our existence that I suspect most people don't think much about. But I do. It's the flip side of being unable to accomplish normal things. I accomplish really random unusual things. And today I've developed a floating birthday concept. And I'm not leaning toward just "celebrating" the boys' birthdays on different days each year, that is to misunderstand the depth of my epiphany. I aim to change the actual reality of when they turn a year older. The date on their IDs is just some government formality. It need not impact how we experience the process of aging.

I just realized this this afternoon, so I'm not sure I'm able to explain myself clearly here. Sometimes it takes me a very long time to be able to articulate how I experience things (for example it took T years of being married to me before he truly started to understand that I don't experience time in a linear way like does). And while a non-linear experience of time wreaks havoc on schedules, timelines, and appointments, it also adds a certain level of beauty to the experience of life that I think a lot of people miss out on. And while I certainly am hopeful that young W will be a successful guy like his dad, I think I like the idea of adding a liitle bit of my own perspective to his formation.