My birthday is Friday. I will be thirty-three years old. I am not as depressed as I was when turning thirty. I shy away from birthday surprises. I squirm if somebody sings the birthday song. I don't like birthday parties. The birthday parties I remember weren't mine. A family friend had one daughter, Tina. Every February Tina had a birthday party. Her duplex apartment was decorated with balloons and backdrops, piñatas, and party favors. Tina had what I wished for. Her Barbie dolls had horses, cowboy boots, a big dollhouse, and a red convertible Corvette. She didn't know what it was like to want. Tina’s mother must have paid close attention while Tina watched commercials in-between the cartoons. "Oh, Mommy, I want that." And her mother took note. Tina unwrapped her gift, shouting, "Mommy, this is just what I wanted." I persuaded myself to believe that there are better things to do then being bothered with birthday parties. "Parties are for babies," I would say bitterly. I don't acknowledge a birthday unless it's someone else's – my husband's, my daughter's, my son's, even my mother's. This year for my mother’s birthday I wrote her a note. "I love you. I see you’re trying. You are going to fall but getting back up is what is important. Jayda, Sam, and Malcolm need you." I folded the note and gave it to my son to give to her. It isn't important that I didn't have birthday parties with decorations and a birthday cake with my name written on it. But what is important is that I don't let anyone believe the day they were born means nothing. A preacher said, "God was in the delivery room when you were born; He stood there and said, 'Breathe.'" On Friday that is what I will be doing -- breathing.