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Mommy Musings – Life and Birthdays

POSTED January 5, 2010 1:46 p.m.
I’m a December baby. For those who follow astrology, a Capricorn to be more precise.
As a ‘child of the Holiday season,’ revealing my birthday always seems to promote conversation. The comments most common are pretty obvious: You must hate the holidays; Oh … a tax deduction; (more popular in my youth) now replaced by, How did you like that growing up? or You must have been shorted in the gift department at Christmas.
Truth be told, aside from the ‘Tax Deduction’ comment none of these have ever held true for me. My mother was aware of the challenges my birth date would bring and seemed to always make a conscious effort to still ensure it was special (even if it were just five days after Christmas).
As a pre-teen I learned to love this birthday. As gifts from family members evolved from toys to money, so too did my wardrobe. A little cash at Christmas and a little more in my birthday card made life fun at Macy’s or the Limited during the After Christmas Sales. Perhaps this is where my love of a bargain actually began.
By college, I learned to share the ins and outs of proper etiquette with my friends on how to treat and honor a baby born during the Holidays. For instance, A Happy Birthday/Merry Christmas (or Happy Holiday) card - not cool. After all, I would never send my November birthday friends a Happy Thanksgiving/Happy Birthday card or April birthdays a Happy Easter (or Passover)/Happy Birthday card - that would be tacky.
Cards and gifts given at the appropriate time, however, no longer occupy my mind on my birthday. Life and all that it offers, seems to muffle the sounds of such unimportant thoughts.
As I prepared for work on my most recent birthday, I could not help but think of how much my life had changed since my 20’s. Back then my friends and family would make reference to my birthday as my own sort of Jewish Holiday. It began on Christmas Eve and did not conclude until New Year’s Day.
This year, the best part of my birthday was snuggling in bed with my two little ones in the darkness of morning as we waited for the heater to heat up our home. Making up stories as we snuggled and giggled - now that is good stuff.
In my younger years, I would have taken pity on that middle-aged woman snuggling with two snotty nosed kids. ‘Poor thing, her life is over,’ would have more than likely been my thoughts. Funny how things change.
And speaking of change, here are a few more thoughts that crossed my mind on that morning that I began my journey into middle age:
Never would I have thought my age would be a rival to my waist size.
Or that I would iron the front of a shirt first, with the thought that if I didn’t finish, I would still be somewhat presentable. After all, how many people see your back as you are chasing a toddler?
The reality that I now buy a big purse, not because it is stylish. I buy a big purse because after 5-plus years, I am tired of a diaper bag and a big purse can accommodate sippy cups and Cheerios, not to mention a few toys for entertainment.
And never in all my years would I have thought that watching a little person run toward me exclaiming, “ Mommy … hey, that’s my mommy,” with arms wide open, would not only fill my heart, but make me eternally grateful for the path that I am on.

Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at thammond@oakdaleleader.com or by calling 847-3021.

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