By Susan Helene Gottfried
I love April. Yes, even though I sit here clad in my favorite winter fleece, I love this month.
Maybe it's the unpredictability of the weather. The fact that April refuses to conform and insists on throwing us, day after day, a curve ball.
In many ways, I am the same as April. That's fitting, as I am an April baby. The month and I reflect each other. We compliment each other, we contradict each other. That's how I like it.
Most of the major events in my life have taken place in April. Not just my birthday, but my Bat Mitzvah, too. I graduated from college and passed my oral exams to officially earn my MFA in creative writing in April. I started my blog a year ago, in April. And this month so far, I've won awards and accolades.
About the only thing that hasn't happened in April was my wedding, which happened at the end of March. And what tends to follow a wedding but children -- neither of whom were born in April. Not for lack of trying, however.
Given all of these Aprilian warm fuzzies, you'd think I'd love my birthday. Remember, though, April and I are unpredictable. And, thus, I loathe my birthday.
It's not that I mind getting older. Not at all; I've earned these years. Even though I wonder if I should act sedate and wear pastel flowered clothing, I like where I am. I like the paths I'm on.
The problem with my birthday is simple. No matter how little I expect, I never get it. Oh, the Tour Manager is stellar on birthdays, don't get me wrong. And my parents never forget to send an e-mail. It's everyone else who presents the problem.
A few years ago, I declared the entire month of April to be my birthday. Despite the fact that you only had a one-in-30 chance of getting the actual day right, you were never wrong when you wished me a year's worth of blessings.
I had a friend who, a few years back, rose to the challenge of getting the day exactly right. Every single April day, he sent me a birthday greeting of some sort. A joke. An e-card. Every single day.
We've fallen out of touch since then, but I still treasure his effort. Just like April, it was unpredictable and wild -- and fun. It made me, for once, not hate my birthday.
This year, with the Penguins in the playoffs, I've got an equally good reason to draw the cheer out. I declared that my family was going to get dressed up and have dinner in a local seafood restaurant… only to have the playoffs interrupt our plans.
Well, it's April. If there weren't snags in the plan, I'd worry. And if we have to wait until May for my birthday dinner because the Pens are kicking the Senators back to Ottawa, that's a present in and of itself.