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Birthdays… For or against?

Yesterday was Emily’s 15th Birthday!

Over the years, we’ve had family birthday parties, fishing party (4th) Family dinner (5th) … Party with tons of friends for her 6th and 7th. Party with some kids from school, bowling party, bouncy castle party…. We kept inviting kids who didn’t call to confirm and some who confirmed and didn’t show up. Emily disappointed with how many of her “friends” didn’t show-up…. Me wanting to smack some senses into little brats who showed-up only to be with their friends who were coming than complained about the goody bags we prepared for the kids coming to Emily’s party…

So over the last 2 or 3 years, I’ve tried to convince Emily to have a family BBQ or a fancy dinner….

This year, all the money is going towards our NYC trip so it was fairly easy to convince Emily to keep it to dinner and 1 gift only!!!!

See, birthdays are difficult, not because she’s getting older which by consequence means I am getting older but because I remember my birthdays as a teenager! I remember what I did when I was 14 and what I was planning to do at 15…. This automatically takes me to what Emily hasn’t experienced yet… And might never do…. And that hurts!

I do my best every day to pick on the small positive thing and to blow it out of proportion so at the end of the day, it’s all good. The sad moments are short and the happy ones are big …. but once in awhile it hits me.

Yesterday was one of those days…

When I was 15, my mom couldn’t get me out of bed in the morning. Yesterday, around 3am, Emily was wide awake and she wanted to open that box in the spare room. She noticed the box months ago in my office at work and knew it was for her. She even told me not to bother wrapping it :). But at 3am… I wanted to sleep. By 5am I gave up on making her sleep again so I allowed her tv time but no gift until 7:15am when I would be awake and her dad would be home… She reminded me of a 4 or 5 yr old kid. Sometimes that’s cute. At 3am on a work day… Not so much!

She opened the box, said thank you. Opened a card from her “Mamie” (my mom) grabbed the cash, ask me to put it in her bank than moved on to breakfast.

She wanted to wear a pretty dress to school so I helped her getting ready and off to school we went.


Last night was the 8th grade patio party… She didn’t want to go. In her 3 years of middle school she went to 1 dance and decided against it… She cried so many times on dance night as she wanted to go and not to go. Those were not fun night. This year, she was really clear about not going and yesterday wasn’t even an option in her mind.

I am sad that she doesn’t feel like she belongs enough at her school to be comfortable to go to a dance but I’m more than ok that I don’t have to go to a middle school dance with her. At 14, there is no way I would have missed a dance!

So last night we went for dinner at a Japanese restaurant, we had fun and ate too much.

Emily ordered Agedashi tofu for starter and calamari on the teppenyaki grill for main course! I love this about Emily. She knows her food. I discovered different food way later than that. On that front she wins! She’s ahead of me at the same age and ahead of most kids of her age!


The restaurant we were at as great food but their desserts don’t quite make our favorite list…! So, Emily suggested we stopped by the grocery store to pick-up a cake!  So we did!!!


I went to bed last night thinking about all the things I did when I was 14-15…

I am glad I don’t have to worry about Emily trying to get out of the house in the middle of the night to meet some guy we believe is too old for her… I am also quite happy with the fact that she’s not interested in alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and sex…. Not that I did all those things at her age but 15 yr old kids now are doing a lot of stuff….

I am sad that she doesn’t have a “love” interest or a crush… She’s never had a sleepover… She doesn’t get invited to birthday parties or just parties! The phone never rings for her. She doesn’t have plans for the summer… Next year, she will not be getting her learner’s permit or ask to borrow the car..

Every birthday brings me joy and sadness…. So let me ask you, birthdays…. For or against?

7 thoughts on “Birthdays… For or against?

  1. They are bittersweet but once they are gone you cannot turn back time to make it happen again so I’m all for celebrating! In whatever way celebrating is to my family whether a dinner or party but making that memory is what matters.

  2. We would constantly be over to your house but you went and moved accross the country…then again I know how much you enjoy your privacy. ;). This post makes me sad that we are so far away. I miss you. I wish my boys could play with Emily once in a while. She is so sweet to younger kids. They really enjoyed her.

  3. OMG… this is breaking my heart!!! As a kid, I didn’t have friends and most definitely not a love interest. I often think about how things will go for my son and already at 8 yrs old, he doesn’t have friends though we try and try to get playdates together. He wants to do sleep overs and parties, but he never gets invited, either…. and well, no sleep overs. I feel horrible and even more projecting ahead to his teen aged years. I think back to my own sheltered life and I’m thankful because I feel that if I had opportunities to socialize, along would come the ops to drink, smoke, drugs and sex… I like to look at it as God took care of me and kept me away from making bad choices with even less knowledge than what my eight year old has now. No, that’s not really right, but almost. Yeah, I’m socially challenged and frustrated that I can’t really teach my son all that social stuff we learn as kids. Heck, I’m struggling myself…. but I’m good.

    • I wish I could help her more but although I think I had good teenaged years and plenty of friends and social activities, we are definitely not social butterflies anymore and our family is pretty much it for us. I can’t show her how to make friends and keep them when I am so protective of our privacy and don’t enjoy a house full of visitors. It is a struggle.

      • I can understand that… I am not a social butterfly, myself, but have some pretty great crochet/knitting friends. It’s rough. Just this morning, a kid said something that was not nice to my son, and I blurted out to him, “was that nice?” and he said no and slunk away. I cringe to think of when I’m not there.

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