Writer’s note: My friends Chad and Avivah, who are siblings two years apart, have the same birthday. And this got me thinking about those families who all have the same birthday and it’s some sort of amazing phenomenon. And then I started thinking even more and wondered… what if these families had one kid with a different birthday? What would they think?
You’ve heard of those families, haven’t you? The ones where the parents have all of their kids on the same day as their wedding anniversary? And then they get into newspapers and magazines because it’s just so amazing and they must feel so special.
I live in one of those families. Everyone’s special day is August 15th. My parents got married on that day, my older brother and sister were born then, and so were my triplet brothers after me. But my birthday? February 18th.
When I tell people this little anecdote, they immediately counter with “well, that makes you unique! An individual! That’s good, right?”
Sort of. But not really. How would you feel if everyone in your family had a certain day in common, but you were always left out? How would you feel if your sibling’s birthday party was always a big thing with all sorts of relatives and friends and cake, and then your birthday was just a small, quiet affair where people did things for you because they pitied you? Huh? HUH?
Being an individual isn’t really worth it when you’re five and your birthdays are very clearly a hassle to the rest of your family.
Starting high school really didn’t help. “Hey, aren’t you Misty and Rayne Forest’s sister? Is your birthday August 15th too? That’s so cool”
“No. It’s not. I’m a dead-of-winter baby and a disappointment to my parents.” People stopped asking questions like that pretty quickly. So I became known as “Willow Forest, future Scrooge, prefers to go by Will, which is a boy’s name but we won’t question her because we’re afraid she’ll snap and turn into a school shooter because she’s still bitter about being born in the winter”, and that was fine with me. How’s that for individualism?