My Birthday, Her Birthday and All That Collective Age

My daughter knows I’m in my thirties and now says she’s in her “fivees”. We’ve been celebrating our birthdays for a month strong now, both of us wanting to keep celebrating and acknowledging and revving up for the next big part of being older (Okay, maybe just her).


I’m an end of August birthday; hers is mid-September. We’ve been going on, colliding like this for a while, both of us clamoring for a piece of the proverbial cake. She says, August 23, day before my birthday, that she ought to get the bigger slice of pizza, or taller glass of water, or first pick at a candy, to honor her approaching birthday. Even though mine was the very next day. That little shmoo even beat me to blowing out my own candle.


Looking a bit haggard at Disney

We’re a little bit competitive.

I never just let it go, but point out these things and say, “And by the way, where is my card?” and “Sing me my birthday song!” We chase each and I am realizing that I’m a bit of a child! (Snort, ya think?) Maybe my inner child is six.

Now that my birthday is sadly, officially over, I’m fashioning giant cardboard FIVES  into piñatas. I’ve got the whole couch littered with great big piles of birthday. There are pink and purple polka dot napkins, cups, tablecloths, mini canvases for her friends to squash their chubby little hands down in a FIVE with paint. It is a house of loot.


Turns out our Sunday party in the park will most likely be rained-out which bring us to our Plan B: the house. Hello, cleaning. Hello, 24 hours of Kon Mari and stashing every odd thing in the dog’s room. (Maybe not Kon Mari at all. Nope). It will be a house crawling with five year olds and soon to be five year olds, plus baby and big kid siblings, and parents, too. If it’s really raining hard, we will bust open that FIVE piñata in our living room. Because we love birthdays and hitting stuff. And stuff flying out.

It will be a house ringing with the sounds and squeals of Japanese, the parents from our children’s hoikuen, or preschool, asking me to answer questions I still cannot articulate, all to celebrate our girl. I am bracing myself, trying to clear shelves and feign organization. I’m bracing myself for upper thirties and a five year old girl, all of the changes that come and make me want to just sing over her in the night, make me want to take out all those baby pictures and pregnant belly photos and even her dried-up umbilical cord they preserve here as a gift when a family goes home with their newborn infant.

My International Birth in Japan Post on Best of Baby

Here we go. I’m already seeing her taller, leaner from riding her new training-wheeled bike. She is already parting her own hair, making her own pigtails and braids. Her new thing is voluntarily bringing us glasses of ice water with each together meal. She already launched into a talk about how she should be able to marry her preschool friend, because “It is my life, why should you care or get to decide”, she has already said, at still four years of age. She is a sweetie and a pistol. A Pippi Longstocking, Punky Brewster, me, and my husband, all braided up in one strong, hilarious, sometimes, mouthy thing.



Here we are, at what already feels like a precipice. She is almost 5 years old, going on twelve or fifteen.

Does that make me 30-something going on fifty? I don’t know, but it’s not a bad thing to like birthdays. Not in this house, anyway. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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