Happy birthday to me
Every year around this time my husband and I have the same conversation. He gets this smug little look on his face and says, "Can't wait for spring. It's the best time of the year."
I look at him suspiciously. "You're only saying that because your birthday is in spring."
"Well, it is," he says. His birthday is in September, right when the wisteria blooms. "But spring is better. The smells, the weather, the flowers. Spring is just better."*
I know it's true, but I can never bring myself to agree with him. Because, you see, my birthday is in winter. To admit that spring is better than winter would feel like a defeat. Because your birthday HAS to be the best time of the year, right? It just has to. I have grown up loyal to my birthday. For years I was the only person I knew with the 31st July in my dates. It was unique, just like my name. It was BEST. I felt sorry for the kids whose birthdays were right around Christmas time, or kids who had to study for exams when they should have been planning their parties.
I also felt sorry for kids whose birthdays were in winter. Because mine was not.
When I was a little kid, my birthday was in summer. We lived in the Northern Hemisphere and my birthday was hot, sweaty and full of waterfights, icecream and that holiday feeling you can't shake when it's 35 degrees C outside. I loved it.
When I turned six we were in Australia and all I can remember is the freezing cold (oh yes, and the awesome blue corduroy overalls with red buttons I was given, which I later had to pass down to my brother - MUCH TO MY DISGUST, and probably his too. But that's by the by.)
It was a cold birthday and I didn't like it.
I've now spent many more birthdays in the cold than in the warm, but I still can't shake the thought that I should be blowing out my candles outside on a summer day, not sitting inside next to the fire. And it kills me every year to admit that spring might possibly be nicer than summer because I don't want to be disloyal to my own birthday.
So, every year, I finish the conversation with my husband like this: "Well, I like autumn better. Because then it's cooling down, ready for winter."
My husband scoffs and we bury the topic until the next year.
*He says that he is genuinely only talking about the season and the weather, but I still don't believe him.