This is both an apology and an explanation. Mostly the latter.

Since Lauren died, I’ve had a hard time being interested in birthdays. Aside from my own and my BFF‘s though (which are only one day apart and therefore are combined to form a super-birthday, the Birthday Fiesta o’ Fun). That may sound kind of selfish. Maybe it is. But the 2012 BFoF was the first we’d had since 2009, so it seemed appropriate to make our usual big deal out of it. Really, it’s not so much the birthday thing as it is a chance to get together with Heather, invite a bunch of people over, and feed them awesome food that we spend two day making.

Other than that, I’ve pretty much ignored birthdays. I don’t even remember what I did for Geordie’s birthday. I think I made him cupcakes. And something he wanted for dinner. I know I bought him a present, but I have no recollection of what it was. I know for certain that I only sent emails to my parents on their birthdays. I don’t recall calling them, although maybe I did. It just doesn’t seem to matter much anymore.

That’s a terrible thing to say. “Birthdays don’t matter much.” Who says that?

The babylost, that’s who.

I’m not going to say that I get bitter and angry about birthdays because Lauren will never be able to celebrate her own birthday. That’s just not how I feel about it. That is how some of the babylost feel about it, though, and I can totally understand why. It’s not fair. It’s not right. We shouldn’t have to pretend to be happy about birthdays. If we don’t feel like being happy, we shouldn’t have to be for someone else’s sake. It’s their birthday – let them be happy about it. They should be happy about it. For the babylost, however, it’s another reminder of something their children will never have.

For me, I just can’t bring myself to care very much about birthdays. It’s hard to get in the mood to celebrate life when you can’t celebrate the one birthday that means the absolute most to you.

So, this year, for the most part, I’ve ignored birthdays. I’ve acknowledged that they’ve occurred, and then I’ve just kind of avoided them until they went away. I did the same thing with Mother’s Day. I don’t know if that’s healthy or not. I’m not concerned about it. It’s how I feel, and I’m dealing with that. I can’t promise that next year will be better, that I’ll be in the mood for making happy about birthdays. Geordie’s, probably, even though it won’t be a big deal, because that’s how he is about his birthday. The BFoF, because that’s tradition and it involves more than just me – it’s a friendship ritual. It’s less about birthdays and more about a celebration of the nearly decade-old friendship between Heather and me.

But I do feel that I’ve neglected to anticipate and celebrate birthdays, and I feel bad about that, because I’ve always felt that birthdays were meant to be celebrated. Now, that takes effort for me to do. I can barely make the effort to wish people “happy birthday” on Facebook. Most of the time, I don’t even try. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that, right now, I’m not into birthdays. Carry on without me.

So, just what is the point of this explanation?

Two days ago, my god-daughter turned 10. I sent no card, sent no present, gave her no phone call. I remembered it on Monday and thought, oh, I should do something. And I promptly did nothing.

Heather, please tell your daughter that I’m sorry I gave her a big fat nada on her 10th birthday. I’ll make it up to her at Christmas. I promise!

And to anyone else whose birthday I’ve missed this past year: I’m sorry about that too. I’ll try harder next year. That’s about all I can promise.

In the meantime, a very merry unbirthday to all of you! Enjoy it!

Because that’s all the birthday celebration you’re getting from me right now.