Today is my dad’s 60th birthday. And since the popping of 恒 our birthday celebrations started earlier.

In my family, my dad, being the head of household, incidentally was born in February. This is followed by my mum who was born in march. Then it’s me, in April. Lastly, my baby sister, in may. So first half of the year is often all about celebrations for us.

Then I got married to a man who shares the same birthday as me. April becomes a double (even triple, as my MIL was also born in April) celebrations. With the birth of bbk, we finally have a celebration in the second half of the year. Then the youngest member came and she leads the pack in January.

Maybe it’s age. This year (the feeling probably started lingering last year at bbk’s party), I am starting to look at birthdays differently. Having celebrated birthdays for members at both ends of the generations, birthdays carry very different meaning now.

For the girls, birthdays celebrate their births. I sometimes wonder why did I even bother to throw big party and trouble people to come. Someone even questioned if there’s a need to celebrate every year. But as the mother who carried them in my tummy for so long before their births, the children are such great gifts and we are really thankful for them. Birthdays become our attempt to celebrate life and its wonder. Now, I can totally understand why my mother still insists on bringing us out for a good dinner and the cutting of birthday cake on every birthday of everyone every year… Yes… We have been doing it for so many years.

Then it’s the celebration of the elders in the family. When my dear grand aunt cut her cake at bbk’s party, a realization hit me. An unwelcomed one. The same feeling haunted me throughout the whole CNY as we visited all the elders. Then when I realized that my father’s birthday is coming followed by my mum’s, soon, the same thought came back —- another birthday… Another year gone… —- very somber, I know. If I have the power, I want to give them the life of eternity. Kinda wondered why Qin Shi Huang did not manage to make the elixir of eternal life. Sadly. life, as always, won’t make things easy.

Time is never enough. That’s why we should spend our time very wisely. To date, despite complaining a lot about my pay cut, I’m glad that I made the career choice. Now I spend more time with my mum. Driving her to get groceries. Having more dinners at home with my family. I still wish I have more time to spend with my extended family as well.

One will never know what will happen tomorrow. Seize the day and live it to the fullest is what I am striving to do, hopefully.

Having said that, I know I will probably never say this in the face of my father. But Pa, 谢谢您为我们做的所有。我们是懂得。只是遗传了你的坚持。生日快乐!我们爱你!


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