Another birthday has come and gone. While I enjoy celebrating my birthday, its passing has always indicated one truth: The summer is coming to an end.
As a child, my birthday was a somewhat ominous occasion. It typically fell on the next-to-last week of summer camp, and I knew that once camp ended, the school year wasn’t far away. In college, I used to anticipate the start of the school year because I generally had more fun while I was away at school than I did at home. I was especially excited for school to resume after I turned 21, because I was super pumped to be able to drink legally at school.
I have a suspicion that once my daughter enters school, I may start to eagerly look forward to the start of the school year.
Speaking of my daughter, she also has a birthday that falls in the summer. My experience is that having a summer birthday can be both a blessing and a curse for a child, and I expect my daughter will grow to feel the same way.
Here are some pros and cons of having a summer birthday.
Con: People are often away
The second week in August seems to be prime time to schedule vacations. This has always resulted in spotty attendance for my birthday celebrations. (Yes, I’ve considered that people were just looking for an excuse not to come.) For my eleventh birthday party, I think so many of my friends were busy that I ended up inviting about five “second-tier” friends instead.
One of those friends ended up cleaning up my basement the next morning. My mother always lamented that I didn’t invite that kid over more often.
Being born on July 3rd, the problem will likely be even worse for my daughter. On the bright side, she’ll likely always have the day after her birthday off. But if she wants to have a party, she may sadly find that many of her friends are out of town.
We found this to be somewhat beneficial this year. We were able to invite just about everyone we wanted to her birthday party, knowing that the many vacations and other plans would help keep attendance down.
Pro: Outdoor activities are possible
While a good snowball fight could indeed liven up a birthday party, people born in the winter can usually only consider indoor options for their parties. My birthday parties usually consisted of a bunch of kids running around my backyard playing soccer, tag, and a variety of other games. In my opinion, that was much more fun than those parties where everyone was stuck indoors.
Con: Outdoor activities may not be appealing due to heat
My birthday is typically a hot day, and thus far, my daughter’s birthday has always featured 90+ degree temperatures. That kind of heat makes those outdoor activities seem a little less appealing.
Con: No bringing cupcakes into school
You know the drill: On your birthday your mom would make cupcakes or cookies to bring into school, you’d share them with the class, and you’d get to feel all special for a day. I never got to do that.
In fourth grade, my teacher allowed the people with summer birthdays to choose a day during the school year to celebrate, so I went with my half birthday of February 4th. For one year, I finally got to experience the thrill of having my classmates devour my mother’s homemade treats.
I think that’s part of the reason why I sometimes try to make my half birthday “happen” with little effect.
Pro: No school
While it was sad that I had to miss out on the cupcake thing, on the other hand, I didn’t have to go to school! Instead of worrying about homework and tests, I could spend my birthday either at camp, or doing some other fun activity.
Pro: Mid-week parties!
During the school year, having a birthday party in the middle of the week probably isn’t feasible. But during the summer? Why not? There’s no school the next day, so why not have all of her friends over for a big sleepover?
Then again, this would involve her having a bunch of friends over for a sleepover, which is a scary thought in itself.
I suppose there are positives and negatives to birthdays at any time of the year, and there’s nothing we can do about it anyway. The only way to change it would be to invent a time machine and change when our parents had sex. And is that something that any of us are really interested in doing?
I guess there’s really nothing to do but to enjoy our birthday whenever it may be.