What do you want for your birthday?


“How’s life when you’re 18?” – the universal question every young adult is asked, by chance, today the young adult it’s me. It’s my birthday.

How do I feel? I have no idea, but I know that the cake hidden by my mother, it’s no longer a secret.  Maybe I already had a bite.  Sorry, mom, you know I love you!

What has changed in 18 years? The ID photo, I would say, but I know it’s not just that.

The fact that the clock ticks away at the thought of the final exam isn’t a new thing. Either the fact that once with the wisdom teeth, your parents hope that you will be more mature at 18. Do I want to be an adult? Maybe. Do I want not to be a kid anymore? Never.

One of the things my mom says and which always makes my day better is the fact that I will always be her happy kid. We both know that the craziness that I have in my blood and no matter how much I’d grow up, I’ll still be a kid.

With this growing up, things are a little strange.

No one gives you an adult’s guide telling you “that’s all”, but you have to learn a lot of lessons. No one gives you grades like in school, but there are tests that you fail and tests that you pass. You learn from mistakes, but there is no corrector that can delete these. The time and the mind are your only tools. And the memories are the only proof of the project which has your name on it. You are the project of the Universe. Does it sound like a cliché? Maybe.

But like we say that we are unique, totally true, this age is also unique. You are 18 just once. What have I learned until now? The Nervous System and the functions of nutrition t biology, because today I have a test paper. Ah, yes. And Mendel’s laws.

Besides that it would be the next:

Growing up requires a multitude of mistakes. Believe it or not, you learn a lot from mistakes. It exists also stubborn people (like me), who repeat their mistakes only to be sure, but hey, we all have our demons attached to our synapses. Don’t judge me, I told you that I have a test.

And now comes the question that I hear for years. Many years.

“What do you want for your birthday?”

I have no idea. In the first years, the answer was definitely oriented to what toy commercials I’ve seen on TV or what kind of cars I wanted. Yes, I was the girl with the little cars and I was breaking the doll’s head or I was cutting their hair.

Do you know that I was saying something about our demons? You’ve started to figure out what I am saying through this affirmation.

Today, even if I would want a car, the answer is that I should buy one. And the answer’s answer is that I don’t have the money. Yet.

But I don’t want a car, surprising. Not yet, at least.

What I want, though, it can sound melodramatic, but I accept that.

My desire is that my mom knows that I thank her for the 18 years in which she handled me. With me, for 18 years she has been through a lot of recklessness, and still, every night comes with a smile on her face to ask me what I want to eat. A mother…is a mother.  She scolds me, we scream at each other, she louder than me, sometimes we hurt ourselves with words, but she is always there for me. She was and I want her to be always there.

I know that it won’t exist an always, but I want her to be there for as long as possible. I want her to tell me to make a wish for my birthday for as many years. And I want her to come to me while I sleep, like she always does, for as many years. To wake me, soiling me with whipped cream, for as many years. I want her to see what bright future I have, to be with me when I mess up and to hold my hands when I’m crying.

For you, maybe everything I say here is a cliché, but for me is something that I want to be read by my mom.

I’ve never shown her what I write, she never seen that side of me, even though I write since I was a child, All my essays for school, all the diaries, all I ever wrote, she didn’t read. Not because of her desire, because of mine. Either I don’t know the concrete reason, But mommy, I want you to read this.

For 18 years you had a crazy person in your home and you will never get rid of me.

For 18 years you’ve been there for me when I was sick or when I was afraid of something. You’ve been there when my first tooth fell and you told me to make a wish, because Tooth Fairy will make it happened. Well, I don’t believe in Tooth Fairy anymore.

You’ve fulfilled my desires. From pancakes in the middle of the night to the ” mom, I need something”, you’ve always done you best for my happiness. You gave up on a lot of things, you put yourself, maybe, in the last place just to know me in the first place.

Today, on my birthday, I tell you, mom, that I don’t want anything else just you to tell me to make a wish, to sing to me “happy birthday” with a smile on your face and to do this for as many years. Mommy, I don’t want to be an adult. I don’t want to.

If being an adult means to let the years pass over us then let me be the mother’s child.

To take your hand when I see sweets passing by shops’ windows, to hug me when I cry and to always tell me to be good when I leave.

Lately, I’ve been telling you this every morning when you drive me to school while it’s dark outside and then you go at work. I tell you to be good. I know why I say this. Be good, mom, because I think that without you I can’t make it. I don’t want to be an adult, but the life forces you to do this. It put you adult shoes and makes you do the first steps. Then there it’s no turning back.

Today, at the edge of 18, I make the first steps in adult shoes. It shines, I know that it will take me far, that I will have great moments in those shoes. I have to wear them. It’s inevitable. But I will always be your little girl who wears your shoes.

Today it’s my birthday. I’ll take the adult shoes and I’ll go to the park. Come with me, mom!

Author: Gabriela Luigia


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