Happy Half Birthday to You
I’m sure the concept of half birthdays is not new to some of you, but recently I was jolted by its mention.
I first encountered the half birthday a few years ago, but back then I thought it was the bizarre notion of some over-protective, over-parenting, stay-at-home-mom who made her own organic baby food and thought her child was too special to have to endure the inhumane injustice of a summer birthday.
Simply, I assumed it was the work of one crazy person who would not allow her son to be denied all the rights and privileges the preschool life had to offer. Gradually, I became aware the concept had slightly broader reach. When I heard it mentioned again recently, I was struck by its longevity and ubiquity.
And its acceptance concerns me.
I don’t know if people know this … but there is no such thing as a half birthday. It’s made up. You get one birthday – the day of your birth – hence the name. That’s it.
I know the half birthday designation is for the poor, unfortunate little souls whose perverse fate would doom them to life-long summertime celebrations. Never would they bring several dozen cupcakes to school while their classmates gathered round to adore them. Instead, they would be forced under pure blue skies to celebrate on lush green lawns while streams of sunlight sprinkle down upon them through leafy mesh. Clearly, there would be nothing to do but curse this cruel, cruel world.
Until, that is, they latched on to the notion of a half birthday. This was even better than a birthday because they could celebrate themselves twice.
I, however, would like to call an end to this excess. If you must, bake some cup cakes to bring to school at the end of the year, and call it a day. If my kids had birthdays during the summer, I would be thrilled. It would save me a couple of days scrambling to bake something the night before the big day and juggling trays of baked goods and paper products while trying to herd my kids to school. And, I could throw their parties in the back yard and save myself a sizable sum of money.
My nephew has a birthday in the month of December, which just about any kid will tell you is the worst month to have a birthday, but we don’t move his birthday to another month just so he’ll get more gifts and not have to share with Jesus.
So why create this half birthday fallacy? And, should the practice not be abolished?
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