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Dear Minerva:

My mother didn’t wish me a “Happy Birthday” this year. How do I respond to that?

Sincerely,

Birthday Blues

Dear BB:

That’s harsh, especially during 2020 when things feel so off kilter and dismal as it is. If you don’t know why she neglected to send you birthday greetings, maybe it’s as simple as she forgot or she thinks that she did. Give a little room for grace and don’t make any assumptions. Next time you talk to her, bring up something about your birthday to see if it reminds her. If it doesn’t then just ask her why she didn’t wish you well on your birthaversary. Pandemics cause people to function differently and worry, stress, and anxiety take their tolls. If you are currently not getting along with your mother, then obviously she’s not ready to make nice. The unfortunate thing is that we can’t control what other people do or the ways in which they are going to be petty or avoid interaction when angry or hurt. Give her time to reach out or take the opportunity to be the bigger person and arrange to come together and talk it out. The tumultuous conditions in which we are living are bound to push everyone to their breaking point, even people as connected as parent and child. Some years, birthdays just don’t go well. However, dear reader, may I wish you a very Happy Birthday, belatedly, with warm wishes for a truly divoon year ahead! Now, go and call your mom.

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