Hearts and flowers. Presents. Cards.
I was almost a Valentine’s Day baby and on good years it seems like I reap the rewards of an almost Valentine’s Day birthday by getting all of the above in double quantities.
I am truly blessed.
So, why do I find myself sitting at my cluttered desk on Feb. 16, (the day after my birthday) feeling all down in the dumps and so much older than I did on Feb. 14 (the day before my birthday)?
It’s weird how one day can make such a difference.
I remember my 16th birthday.
I actually felt much more grown up on that day than the day before when I was only 15.
I remember walking out to meet the school bus with my long dark brown hair twisted into a French roll, feeling quite dignified and mature. I wondered if the bus driver could see how mature and dignified I had become overnight. I refused to run to the bus, but walked sedately, my steps measured and deliberate.
The bus driver did not seem to get that dignified, mature ladies do not run, even if they are late. He honked his horn in frustration.
I was a little insulted, being I had my hair in this perfect French roll, but I ran anyway. I fell breathless into an empty seat and ended up bobby pinning my French roll back into perfection while sending darts with my eyes (made up with my new kohl almost black eyeliner) into the back of that silly, old bus driver.
I was living on Vancouver Island at the time. Across the road from the bus route, the magnificent Pacific Ocean churned and rolled and the tide mysteriously moved in and out as if set by an unseen hand and an invisible clock.
But I was 16 and I cared nothing about the tide or the ocean. I only wished my hair would stay in place and I could fit into anew school, new friends and, most importantly, with my brand new family. I was, after all, an orphan now and I told myself it was time to grow up.
Five years later, I turned 21.
It was another significant birthday and I remember it well because it was the day I had my first-born child christened.
He was tiny and beautiful, and not once did he cry throughout the ceremony.
And when the minister lifted him up to show him to the congregation, I swelled with motherly pride.
And so, here it is another year and the birthdays have come and gone with alarming regularity, just like the mysterious tide that flows in and out, as if set by an unseen hand.
And every year I get older, but somehow, I notice, not that much wiser.
I’m still waiting for that part.
Who knows? Maybe next year!