Of Cake, Candles and Birthday Wishes

“ Every day , every birthday candle I blow out , every penny I throw over my shoulder in a wishing well , every time my daughter says ‘ let’s make a wish on a star ‘ , there is one thing I wish for : Wisdom “

     –          Rene Russo –

We all make wishes on our birthdays, but do they ever come true? Well, yesterday was my birthday and I feel like waxing eloquent on the topic. Birthdays are special days for anyone, even though some of us pretend it’s just another day. I used to celebrate just like everyone else, complete with balloons, cake, candles, but lately I have been converted to be a pretender. My normal practice is to take the day off work so I don’t have to face the barrage of questions about ‘ birthday plans ‘ , but being rather disorderly this month , I forgot to take the day off , and ventured out to office yesterday , with my fingers crossed , hoping no one would remember. Now don’t get me wrong please , I love being spoiled with hugs , flowers , chocolates , and random gifts , because I know they come with love from all my dear friends , but I think because none of my wishes come true , I dread the thought of blowing on a candle for a futile purpose. And then I think, maybe it’s just the wishes that I make, maybe they are not meant to be. Or is it just me and my fate? Maybe I need to borrow the luck of the Irish…Or should I have wished for Wisdom …

As a little girl, I would count the days until my Birthday. As an adult, it has become a reminder of time gone by, and wishes not coming true .But being an adult, should I even think of wishes? So I guess a Birthday is another day for the child in me to come out , but instead of waiting for the postman to come by with Birthday Cards , I wait for the notifications from Facebook to see who has posted on my wall , text messages , and phone calls . And I keep wishing for that one message, the one I know would make my day, the one that doesn’t come. Not yesterday , not today and not tomorrow , no matter how many candles I blow , how many pennies I throw , how many stars that fall down , I guess I should have wished for Wisdom ..

And then I come home , thinking I should watch a movie , I select “ 13 going on 30 “ , only to realise it’s about a teenager wishing to be 30 on her 13th birthday , the difference is she uses wishing dust instead of blowing on candles . So maybe I have been using the wrong medium to convey my wishes to the Birthday Genie, or should I have wished for Wisdom?

Deciding it’s time for a new movie, I look around and my eye catches the day’s mail on the dining table. I dive into it and unearth a card from my parents. Reading it, I realise, maybe I was their wish come true and I become a believer again.


Yes, it is definitely time to gather more candles, pennies and wishing dust. I am going to stare at the sky, and wait for falling stars every night. I am going to make a wish. A wish for Wisdom.

P: S If you know someone who has a birthday coming up, don’t forget to wish them, because you never know, that maybe their birthday wish.


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