Celebrating my birthday always makes me feel nostalgic. I was turning 6 in this picture. I see so much when I look at this photo. The 1970’s digs everyone was rocking. My beloved home owned by my parents in Montbello, an area of Denver, Co. That warm October day when we could have the party outside is so telling, as just yesterday I scraped snow off my car, but today’s temps will rest in the 70’s seemingly just for my day. The friends who came out to celebrate with me that I still hold dear today. That half smile with big cheeks expression that my son now makes. And then there’s my big poofy pink dress that I remember spinning in circles in. This picture shows a good day, a beautiful day, however my childhood was filled with a lot of turmoil, inconsistencies and instability. My mom however, (shown standing on the far left, big hips and all, lol), was big on birthdays and birthday parties. She always made those days so special for me. And now that she’s passed away coming up on 13 years ago, those celebrations are all the more special.
Birthday parties, birthday shout outs, and birthday gifts have become common and cliche, but in actuality birthdays are sacred. The celebrating of your coming into being is a big deal. That was the day that God saw fit to have you here, that means that you have more value and worth than you can probably imagine. For me I’m coming to terms with that value. There has been so much that has happened since this picture was taken that has caused me to question my very existence and value. I know I’m not alone in that line of questioning. But today I’m reflecting on how far I’ve come. This is one of the first years where that reflection, and having a relaxing day at home is enough celebration for me, genuinely. There’s no way anyone else other than me and the Holy Spirit can be present for this. It’s far too deep, far too intimate. That moment when you grieve your past while sitting in amazement that you lived through it. And you lived through it with your mind and spirit still in tact, no excuse me, with your mind and spirit stronger in spite of it, it’s quite amazing really.
So while I nurse an injury of cutting the tip of my finger off less than 24 hours ago, not my idea of birthday magic, I choose to celebrate today. I will celebrate in my own way, with India Arie’s Private Party playing in my ears. This is the true celebration of life and living it. “I’m having a private party, learning how to love me, celebrating the woman I’ve become.”