July was the birthday-est month for my family. The month started with my brother-in-law’s birthday, followed by two sisters-in-law, then my husband, my dear house help of twelve years (same day as the Sultan’s), a couple of nieces and then my brother. Birthdays always provided me with respite from work and other routines. The days become significant with plans for outings and of course, budgets for presents, cakes and other objects that give meaning to this milestone in life. Aside from giving fascination to the children in the family (immediate and extended), birthdays do provide us, adults, with thoughts of things beyond the mundane…thoughts of mortality perhaps, of aging parents and loved ones, of generous gestures to be reciprocated, of the missed, or those who are far from our hands’ reach.
On a lighter note, birthdays are always the happiest days of our lives. My immediate family has enjoyed our birthday parties for their naturalness in gaiety and giving; the painstaking preparations for food, flowers, hair (the girls’), and most appreciated of all - my husband’s loving keenness to make us – wife and children – happy. We’ve said this before and will say it again for the many years to come, happy birthday!