Another Year, Another Birthday

My kids love birthdays. They look forward to their birthdays every year, often counting the days before the big day arrives.

For me now, birthday is neither so exciting as in a child’s mind nor to be dreaded. Birthday is simply a reminder that another year has passed, and I am one year older. As I get older, time seems to fly by faster and faster every year.

For my birthday today, my kids gave me a card containing 47 poems. They have worked hard in the last few days, writing poems, making and decorating the card. They collaborated and worked together as a team. They are millennials and are good at collaboration and team work, as I learned recently.

I love to see my kids writing poems and receive their poems as presents. They know what I like. So they gave me what I want. They gift means more to me than anything they can buy.

When I was a kids, our traditional Chinese way of celebrating a birthday was to eat a bowl of noodles. Long noodles symbolize a long life. There was no cake or gift. Now I don’t care much about birthday cake or gift or even noodles.

When I called my mother in China yesterday, she wished me a happy birthday and said: “We ate noodles for your birthday today.” 

A mother always cares about her children no matter how old they are and how far away they are.  

As I get older, I am getting more visible gray hair. A friend of mine told me a few times to dye my hair to look younger. Last year, she actually had me in her house, had everything set up and dyed my hair herself. She likes to cut people’s hair and dye hair.

It was nice. But I don’t want to do it again and especially don’t want to do it on a regular basis. I just don’t want to be bothered with that kind of chore. It’s OK that I have gray hair now. And it’s OK if that makes me look older.

I also noticed in the last couple of years that my memory is not as good as it used to be. I easily forget things or can’t remember things. When I take away my kids’ electronic toys, I often can’t remember where I put them. My daughter had an ipod Nano, I took it away and now I can’t find it any more.

That’s life. While I could dye my hair to look younger, I can’t turn back or stop the time. I can’t be as fit and sharp as a twenty year old.

I am OK to take life as it is and accept myself as it is.