I have never been the kind of person who dreads birthdays. Birthday blues and I, luckily for me, don’t know each other yet. I am on the other end of the extreme actually. Over three decades of my existence on this earth, and I still get all giddy with excitement at the idea of celebrating the day the surgeon slit my mother open to bring me to this world.
This year, I had all the more reason to celebrate. Between last birthday and this, I crossed that beautiful line from just a blogger to published author. I took up teaching, something that I am thoroughly passionate about. I bought books and more books and then some more books. I managed to lose some weight and regained the confidence the post-pregnancy weight had snatched away from me. All in all it was a fruitful year.
I woke up in the morning (the midnight episode where my husband scared me out of my wits by waking me up to wish me by torchlight long forgotten) feeling quite perky like I always do on my birthdays. Miss Munchkin woke up and suddenly remembered that it was Mamma’s birthday and that she had been working on a card which was meant to be a surprise for me. She ran to Jenny’s room and fetched me this card. My heart melted and poured out of my eyes (and this was just the beginning of the day)
Once I reached school though, the day turned from beautiful to phenomenal. From the moment I got off the bus, students started wishing me, and when I walked into my class, I saw two cakes on the table. What caught my attention more was a can filled with Post-it’s. After cutting the cakes I read out each note and for the second time yesterday I tried fighting back tears and failed. My students wrote to me about how I was their second mother, and just how much they loved reading books now because of me. I could tell all of them were bouncing on their toes trying to get started on the grand celebration that they had been planning for over a week.
They cleared up space in the classroom and made me sit on my chair, put a crown on my head and called me Queen for the Day. They’d had a whole talent show prepared for me, and two hosts for the entire show. My students wrote me poems, sang me a chorus, danced for me and a student even displayed her exceptional yoga skills!
As if my cup had been overflowing already, two of my colleagues prepared an elaborate lunch for me, and one of them, a really special friend of mine, even brought the payesh that’s the essential birthday ritual. Just as I was about to start eating though, a student from another class that I teach came up to me and asked me to go to a certain classroom. I went, a little reluctant at having to give up my lunch with friends.
When I walked into the room though, I realised they had decorated the room with balloons and tinsel, and yet another cake was waiting for me. I looked around and saw students I hadn’t even taught, waiting to wish me a happy birthday.
“But I don’t even teach you!” I exclaimed.
“It doesn’t matter Ma’am, we love you!” they all shouted.
Amidst all of this, a student I had taught previously came and handed me a note written on tissue paper, and I was so touched that I had no words. But this needs a little back story so bear with me.
Flashback to a few months ago when I used to still teach his class, on an idle class I saw him scribbling something on a tissue paper. I snatched it away from me but laughed out loud when I saw what he written. Because I love a good joke myself I wrote something in return on the same tissue paper and gave it back to him and we did it about two or three times until the whole class caught up on what was happening. I guess it became sort of an inside joke.
Which is why, that he thought of writing a note on a tissue paper to give me on my birthday touched me more than I care to admit. It was just the kind of stupid mushy stuff that appeals to the sentimental fool in me. Ah yes, the cup kept overflowing.
Grinning ear to ear I came back home to see and had barely finished talking to my Mamma when the husband came in demanding that I get ready as fast as I could because we had somewhere to be. And that somewhere turned out to be just one of our favourite places by the beach to hang out. My sister reached a little later, the breeze was perfect, the restaurant kept playing one good song after the other, the kiddos kept running and squealing and to top it all, the Husband had an Awfully Chocolate cake in hand.
P.S. Looking at my birthday haul (bath products, dresses, accessories, perfume, lipsticks and more accessories) I almost wonder what opinion people have of me. Have I really become THAT woman?