A conversation between me and my almost 14-year-old cousin on Saturday during our other cousin’s baby shower.
Stephen: did my mom tell you about my birthday party on the 21st?
Stephen: are you gonna come to my party?
Me: yeah, I’m pretty sure I can make it… Is there anything you want for your birthday?
Stephen: oh, you don’t need to get me anything.
Me: but it’s your birthday.
Stephen: yeah, but birthdays are not about presents, that’s what my parents taught me.
I was initially baffled by Stephen’s response. What 14 year old kid these days does not want birthday presents?
But then I remembered my 8th birthday party. My tía Patty and her husband showed up without a present. I was a brat/mocosa back then, so I went to her and asked, “what did you bring me?”
Oh man, she put me in my place.
I told tía Patty what her son said. She wasn’t surprised.
“Iván and I taught him that birthdays weren’t about presents. He knows that if people come to your birthday party, that’s enough because they’re there celebrating with you. If they want to bring you a present, that’s okay, but you shouldn’t expect a gift.”
I like Stephen and tía Patty’s attitudes.