There comes a time when you learn that Santa isn’t real, the Easter bunny ain’t coming, the tooth fairy is a farce, and birthdays are not the one magical day of the year when everything goes right.
Today, my son’s friend could not hang out all day.
Today, my son’s brother decided not to get him a birthday gift.
Today, my son’s sister was at a sleepover to celebrate someone else’s birthday.
Today, my son’s mom didn’t make the birthday cake the right way.
Today, my son’s dad did not acknowlege his birthday.
Today, my son’s birthday simply did not go the way he had hoped.
Today, there were tears.
And my son’s mom was uncharacteristically tolerant of some childish outbursts which she knows are so much more easily expressed than the grief that feels like it is going to drown you in your throat. And she remembered how it felt to be disappointed that getting older was not as fun as it seemed like it was going to be. And the helplessness of seeing that the people you love are not going to be able to love you back in the way you want to be loved. And how it felt to know that this was the way it was going to be for a long time. And you couldn’t do anything about it.
Except wait. And try to trust when you are told that it won’t always feel this bad.
Today, thoughtful cards were made. And new games were played. And hugs were given. But, today, it felt like only the birthday crepes came out right.