Iâ€™m a big fan of birthdays. Itâ€™s a day to celebrate ME; where I feel special. Since the muppets adventurous arrival, theyâ€™ve taken on an even more important meaning.
When youâ€™re two, the world is your oyster. Your sole purpose in life is discovering the world. And your parents are there to help; they know everything. The only thing I had to fear was my father dressed up as Mickey Mouse. A seriously disturbing 6-foot tall mouse-like creature. Birthdayâ€™s were filled with parties, cupcakes and toys. (Todayâ€™s generation would also involve bounce houses.)
By 10, youâ€™re old enough to know some stuff. You can sit at the table and feel adult after dinner while conversing with your still-rather-intelligent parents. (But come on, really â€“ I was promised cake here peeps.) These were the days when the ultimate show of friendship was sharing your last cookie at lunch.
I was popular at school, queen of the handball court and winner of the 5th Grade Elementary Waffle Award. (Donâ€™t askâ€¦) I was double digits, my parents helped me celebrate by taking me to the theatre. (Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages.)
When I was 16 I had a group of friends over. We hung out in the den of my house. I fantasized about being an adult. I would so totally be able to do whatever I wanted. My parents were so lame. All my problems would be solved when I was an adult and could control my own life.
When I was 21 I was living on my own. Life was hard. Waking up by 10 a.m. for classes, 10-page papers, and staying up till all hours of the night with my girlfriends. We got cah-razy that night. TGI Fridays and a margarita.
But time keeps ticking.
Another decade has gone by.
This yearâ€™s celebration was a spur of the moment fine dining decision the day before the actual date. We decided to get a little wild. And at the witching hour of 5:30 p.m., our family of four piled into the MomMobile and headed to the not-quite-Michelin-rated dining establishment, Chiliâ€™s.
Oh my god â€“ I have children of my own. (With opinions of THEIR own.)
Corndogs for the muppets and margaritas for the mommy. (Fizzy pomegranate. Itâ€™s getting fancy up in here, yo.)
At 22 Iâ€™m sure my birthday dinner was a romantic excursion â€“ fancy dress up, wine and candlelit sweet nothings. At 32 we were racing the clock before the bedtime meltdown. And the big game of the evening was me patting myself down with napkins after getting a cup of mandarin oranges dumped down my shirt.
Â Boy does life get glamorous as we grow older. (And yet Iâ€™m still pretty sure the real grown-ups are going to catch on to my ruse of â€œresponsible adultâ€ one of these days.)
I should ask my parents. They really do know an awful lot.
Donâ€™t grow up. Itâ€™s a trap.