By Mical Imbukwa
While birthdays are special occasions to many, for some, they just pass unnoticed. Infact sometimes it is face book that reminds them that they were born on that particular day. One pal of mine once asked, why celebrate yourself for being born when it is actually your mother who should receive all the credit for countless hours in labor? I mean.. he wonders why people spend so much on pulling parties when they can choose the easier road of sending their mother the cash. Isn’t that a good idea? I think it is. But….
He also wonders why friends turn it into a business entity where they expect money to be wired to their phones, failure to which, beef reloaded. “You didn’t buy me a gift and so I won’t buy you.” or “You didn’t post me on your face book, WhatsApp and Instagram status and so I won’t post you on mine.” Abi? Na it be tit for tat? People won’t talk because of WhatsApp status. Whether you agree with me or not, in the current times, birthdays validate friendship just like ruracio does. Now back to the genuine concern from my friend; why do we celebrate ourselves when it is our mothers who spend countless hours in labor to bring us forth? Why do you?
For me eeeh… if my mother doesn’t call to sing me a happy birthday song I call her and ask, “mum mbona hujaniimbia leo?” Mlisema lastborns wanakuanga aje? But how is it my fault? You see for some of us who were lucky to be brought up by parents who valued birthdays, it was implanted in us that birthdays are special occasions that have to be celebrated. Thanks to my mother I got to learn that cakes can be baked inside a sufuria of githeria in another sufuria of sand. Yes. She used to bake our lastborn brother cake every Christmas day which is normally his birthday. The rest of us used to enjoy soda and biscuits during our days. But wasn’t that a special snack during those days?
My nieces and nephews know that birthdays are special occasions that have to be celebrated. Favor will be like, “auntie mbona unabuyianga to Ashley pekee yake cake siku ya birthday? Kwani mimi hunipendi? Then I will be like, “hapana mum. Nakupenda pia. Ni vile uko mbali na mimi.” This therefore puts pressure on my mind to always have something for their birthdays and it is always a great feeling when they smile. See.. My nieces and nephews will grow up and they will carry the practices into their homes. The chain continues.
So birthdays, I can say for some, they are a practice they found here through their parents, and for some, it is a thing of peer pressure. The pressure to fit in. Do I mind celebrating birthdays? No I don’t! Will I celebrate my children’s birthdays? Of course! Do I plan for birthdays? They just happen but going forward, I will. This year I had plans for spar, but Covid happened and we have to stay safe indoors. Do I have indoor plans? You will see everything in the video that I will share during the day today. Do I have favorite birthday memories? Of course! Last year I got money unexpectedly. It was like, “if I had your number I would send you money.” And yeah… I received money. Mpesa messages hit differently of course.
So back to my friend’s concern. Will you going forth celebrate yourself alongside your mother just in case they are still alive? For me, that is something I purpose to do. My mother is my birthday hero and gift, and going forward, for the period God will allow me to be with her, she will count in my birthdays.
Happy Birthday to me and thank you mum for enduring periods of pain to bring me forth. I love you.