I was born in November and my brother was born in December. My mom still doesn’t know what she was thinking.
My birthday marked the midpoint of the month, and a week later, my mom was usually preparing Thanksgiving dinner. A week after that — actually, sometimes days later — my father celebrated his birthday. Eleven days after my Dad’s birthday, it was my younger brother’s birthday. And of course, Christmas rolled around 13 days later, followed by New Year’s Day a week after that.
Let’s just say my parents, especially my mom, were exhausted by Jan. 2. They welcomed a long winter of no holidays, birthdays or anniversaries.
I wanted to avoid November and December birthdays for my own children after thinking back to those times. They’re fun when you’re the child, not so much when you’re the adult doing all the planning to make said dates magical. Plus, my husband’s birthday is in November and our anniversary is in November… yeah, we don’t need to throw a kid’s birthday in the mix.
Despite our best efforts, we did create a little celebratory gridlock for ourselves in late summer. I completed this blog post as part of a free writing exercise in my amazing online writing group, and I think it captures my thoughts about this current season, and the fresh start it represents for me. Enjoy. And happy birthday to my little guys!
The weather feels a little different in August and early September. It’s still hot enough to scorch – especially in August – and one could argue that there’s little that distinguishes late summer weather from those hot temperatures in June and July.
But the sky grows dark a little earlier as each August day passes and the sun makes its appearance later each morning. Unnoticeable at first, the darkness almost suddenly envelops your consciousness as you notice the kids waiting for the school bus one morning before the sun comes out, or you call your children inside earlier each night as the sun paints the sky in fiery earth tones closer to 7:30 p.m. than 8:30 or 9.
This doesn’t happen in August, but by Sept. 22, the time fall makes its official appearance, you notice it’s been creeping upon you all along. This time always heralds the dawn of a new year, which for me coincides with the start of an academic year, since my life has always revolved around education. My parents were teachers, so even when I was done with school, I knew their availability was contingent on when school was in or out of session. Now as a university staffer married to a professor, school calendars again mark our rhythms, and August feels like a farewell to more carefree times.
My children, born in mid-August and early September, just fit into our cycle. The start of their lives, both appearing shortly after sunrise on days that began later and later, remind us that our years are about to begin, as we watch generation after generation say goodbye to summer and prepare to continue their formal education once again.