Friday, October 29, 2010


When I was a child, I wrongly assumed that birthday's were about fun and toys and celebrating by getting gifts. I guess it took some growing up and becoming a mother to realize that birthday's are about celebrating your LIFE and RECEIVING gifts.

Please note, receiving and getting are different...

So on my birthday, my very special day that I am celebrating LIFE, I am thinking about my life, think back over some important things that have happened to me. I will share a few of those things with my (ridiculously small) reading audience.

1. First, and foremost, not only is today my birthday, but it is also my mother's birth day. Without my mother, I would not be. Without my mother, I would not be who I am. She has told me in the past she made mistakes. Probably so. But each and every action, every single thing that has happened in my life has great consequence--the sum of the whole would not be the same without each and every one of those person-forming things. And it is equally important, in my mind, to learn from mistakes as well as successes as they both contribute to the sum total of me. So, to my sweet mother, Happy Birth Day, Mommy! Thank you for making me who I am.

2. Second, in my mind, receiving and getting are different. Getting is a non-action verb. Receiving is an ACTION verb, both for the receiver and the giver. A gift is received that is from the heart, and genuine, and a physical manifestation of love. I have gotten gifts, and I have been lucky enough to receive gifts as well. For this, I am blessed. And for the clarity of mind to understand this difference, I am doubly blessed.

3. Last, I'd like to share my favorite birthday memory. Thinking back last night, (yeah, WAY back, I'm 39 today!) I don't really remember many of my actual birthdays. That's neither here nor there, though, to this story. When I was a teen-ager, probably the year I turned 15, but it could have been 14 or 16, we were living in Otter Creek. It was the end of the "season", and money was already tight for our family, but my mother wanted to make sure that my day was still celebrated and give me something special. She bicycled, IN THE COLD, on a crappy 10 speed bike, to town (Bar Harbor), with her few remaining dollars of spare money, and bought me a gift. The gift was inexpensive (some embrodiery floss to make friendship bracelets that were all the rage that year, a few colorful boxes, and a card). She then bicycled back, IN THE COLD, on a crappy 10 speed bike, to Otter Creek and made dinner. I don't remember what we had, but I know it was made with love. She was celebrating me, celebrating my life, the only way she could-by loving me enough to give me this memory of the first gift I ever RECEIVED.

Sometimes the littlest things given are the most important, and the largest gifts you can receive!

1 comment:

  1. I am so touched that you think of me on your Birthday, and so proud and pleased that you see beyond the cakes and gifts to the heart of the celebration. Every birthday celebrates a beginning and I rejoice in yours.
    You know, of course, that I remember much of that first day- the first time I saw you, the first time we were alone, the first time you suckled. Nature gives mothers such intense focus those first few days.
    I’m also pleased and proud that you can speak so clearly about the difference between getting and receiving, a difference that can’t be seen- but is certainly felt. However, I am not surprised, I’ve always known that you are an insightful little cutie pie.
    And I am uplifted by your memory of that Otter Creek birthday. I’m blessed that on that day, when I felt I had so little to give, you were so able to receive.