On Birthdays and Learning

Happy Face

Yesterday was my 58th birthday.

I have never been someone who could not wait until her birthday arrived, thinking its timing coinciding with Back to School made it convenient to ignore. The worry of wearing scratchy, too warm clothes the first day of school coupled with concerns about whether I’d like my teacher(s), and outright paranoia about the moment that teacher called out my name in class during attendance always seemed to take precedence over celebrating the day I was born. When I think back over the years, unsurprisingly, not many of my birthdays stand out. Other than the good memories that remain of a few adolescent slumber parties, I remember my 20th because it seemed a milestone to no longer have teen attached to my age. My 40th stands out because in defiance of the impending school year, I told my husband I wanted to go to Las Vegas. The significance of this is probably lost on anyone who hasn’t taught school and can’t imagine the potential terror of going away for three days just before school begins, minus lesson plan books and teaching resources, to relax and have fun.  It remains one of my best memories because it was a spontaneous decision.  My 50th will always be remembered because my husband and very best friend organized a lovely dinner party for me at her home. Family and friends attended, waiters passed with trays of tasty tidbits, and dinner was enjoyed outside under a late August evening sky.

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