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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Douglas on May 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

When I was a child I had some classmates whose birthdays were in late December. I always thought, "How cool is that, to have your birthday so close to Christmas!" One classmate's birthday was actually on Christmas Day. That, I thought, must be the pinnacle of celebration.

But the children who celebrated birthdays close to Christmas assured me that I was mistaken. It's not an extra-special celebration. Rather, the birthday celebration gets swallowed up in the Christmas preparations. And unlike other children, who have a day that is "all about me," on their special day the attention is divided among everyone.

So I stopped feeling envious of those friends, and decided to be glad that my birthday didn't fall near any major holidays.

My mother has a similar problem, though I'm sure she didn't realize it until she was married and had children: her birthday is in mid-May, which means it's always within a week of Mother's Day. It hardly seems fair. It seems strange to have the two days so close together.

This year, when I wished her a Happy Mother's Day, her response was "You guys all live in such a way as to honor me every day, so every day is Mother's Day around here."

As I thought about that, it occurred to me that the greatest honor a person can receive is not a card, a gift, or warm wishes for the is not even fame and glory, public recognition and a moment in the limelight.

It is the quiet, everyday knowledge that you have made a positive and lasting impact in the lives of those around you, and particularly in the lives of those you love best. And if that is true honor, then my mother certainly has earned a Mother's Day every day of the year.

But I bet she's glad she doesn't have birthday every day...

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