July 10, 2024



4 min read

Im about 8 years old, It’s my birthday and I’m upset my mom hasn’t thrown me a birthday party.

I refused to believe my mother would do this. For crying out loud this is the woman that birthed me. I’ve come to the conclusion that no one cares about my birthday because it’s so close to Christmas.

It feels like she’s been driving without purpose on this cold December day so by the time we got home, it was dark outside. Disappointment is setting in. It’s the end of the day and still no party.

As she puts the vehicle in park after pulling up to our apartment, I’m legit on 10, but it’s bottled up. One part of me is furious that I’m not having a birthday party. Why can’t I have a birthday party? That’s all I want. A simple birthday party but it’s not happening at the moment.

I’m looking up at the sky, it’s full of stars as I get out the car. At this point, I’m gazing at them to prevent showing my eyes filling with tears. This has to be the worst birthday ever.

As my mother would do when I would throw these non animated tantrums, she would either give me a task to occupy my anger or leave me where I was until I got my act together.


She’s making her way to our apartment door, I noticed all the lights are off which confirms..no party, then she says, “Get the items out of the back seat and bring them in. “ She knows her son. She knows I wasn’t feeling any of this. I’m thinking “Why don’t you get it yourself? It’s my birthday, why do I have to get it?”

Of course I didn’t make these thoughts audible. I wanted to live to see Christmas. As I’m getting these items out of the car all I hear is HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

I’m in the backseat looking out the back window trying to see where this is coming from. All the lights are on at my place, and I can hear my mother laughing, telling them, “HE’S STILL IN THE CAR!”

She got me what I wanted. My birthday party.

In that moment, I’m having several emotions all at once. The feeling of disappointment turned to self guilt. Just for that moment, I knew I was wrong for being that mad. Guilt then turned to embarrassment. I could not go into my birthday party with tears because I was angry moments before, thinking I wouldn’t get my birthday party.

I wipe the tears of anger from my face as I gather the items from the back seat of the car. Making my way towards my home I see the lights are off once again. Now I have to act surprised as if I didn’t just hear them yell HAPPY BIRTHDAY moments before. I’m trying to not to laugh. I’m trying to keep the same angry face I had in the car where she left me. It’s so tough to contain. I’m smiling ear to ear, then straight face the next second. At this moment, I’m just happy she got me what I wanted.

I open the door, the lights turn on to see my family yelling HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! This has turned into the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!

It’s currently Thursday evening, December 9th as I’m typing this story. It’s a cold and windy 46 degrees outside. I can’t believe I’ll be 40 on the 15th. For the past 7 years, a week before my birthday I begin reflecting by asking myself, “What did you learn this year?” I’m not sure if it’s just one thing this year but I can say, PATIENCE. I guess part of patience is being able to get the full story before I react.

Flashing back to that moment as a child with tears of disappointment in my eyes, today I realize I didn’t have the full story. I didn’t have the answers Sway.

Just because it was dark outside didn’t mean the day was over. It was probably only half past 5pm. It gets dark early due to daylight savings here. I was impatient as an 8 year old would be. The information I knew at that time, was all I had to go off of. That’s all I knew. As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten more information. The ability to process that information requires patience. That information requires time. Time to get the full story before I react.

Now that I have more information on how I should take better care of myself, I’m learning this takes patience. Heading into my 40’s I’m going to have to be more patient with how I respond to my body. There will be days where the body will need more rest to recover from these workouts. There will be days where I’ll have to give up certain foods because I’ll see it come back in the form of a fat roll on my stomach.

I’m going to enjoy my birthday this year. I’m grateful. I’m thankful to be alive. My tears of disappointment today are due to my mother not being here to celebrate with me, but patience has taught me to smile because I know she’s always been with me.

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