I don’t recall minding very much that I had to include her; after all, it was a given (you can’t change your birth date) and having a six year advantage gave me all of the control I needed. But don’t get me wrong, there were times when I did mind. Usually Margot had her birthday parties on Valentines Day, but I remember once, after I was past the party stage, that I had to walk to town to meet my friends at the skating pond because Mom was busy with my little sister’s party.
As we got older, Margot and I started enjoying this special connection although we’ve never made a big deal out of being together on the day. We always knew that it was Christmas and New Year's (not to mention my wedding anniversary on the 28th) that took center stage.
My parents never made a big deal about birthdays. As depression era children they had a sensible outlook and wise response to what was important. Consider the following vignette that came to methis morning as I realized that this is my first birthday ever without my mom. Let’s call it my nativity story, which Mom told me several years ago. She and Dad were on the way to the hospital in a taxi from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
Dad: "What are you thinking of naming this child?"
Mom: “Well, if it's a girl, I'd like to name her Barbara.”
It was a simple as that. Clearly one of Mom’s easier jobs that day.
Happy Birthday, Margot. I’m glad you were born and I’m glad we share December 30th.