I suppose it was delightfully confusing as a child — all the excitement of having a birthday. So much attention in the air. And sugar. And presents. Or maybe it was because my mother was so inclusive — every compliment returned, every celebration gathered in. When I was wished a happy birthday, the first thing that always bubbled out was “Happy Birthday to you too!” Bubbling joy is meant to be shared!
She loved lemon boats. And yellow tulips. And extra-hot skim vanilla lattes. More frosting than cake. And no-salt margaritas during happy hour. She loved dressing for all of it. Oh, the getting ready! Maybe that was the most joyful part of all. Nobody did it better. And she knew it. So when it came to the big reveal — what she was wearing for her birthday celebration — she entered the room that I was getting ready in (we each had to have our own room, with our own mirror) — and before I could get any words out, she would say, “You look nice too!” Oh how we would laugh!
That’s how I want to carry myself. With that playful confidence. That inclusive spirit of beauty and grace and laughter. Especially today. On her birthday. My mother’s birthday. So, I ask you today, on this 6th of July, to drink the coffee and buy the flowers. Frost the cake. Light the candles. Smile in the mirror. Enter the room with confidence and joy. Be the compliment you need to hear, then give it away, freely! Be bigger than the 4th! Be the 6th!
Happy Birthday, Mom! I smile at her picture, and say, “You look nice too!”