For very personal reasons, I love the month of August. I love the way the word sounds, very breathy and sexy.  I love the even, round design of the number 8 (especially coupled with the number 20). I love the weather we get in Santa Fe during this month- cool, crisp mornings, hot sun in the middle of the day, overcast and cool in the afternoon, temperate in the evening…. Perfect for outdoor conversations.  I even love the history of the word “August” as it derives from the Latin word, “Augustus,” which means great and venerable.  It sounds so royal and important to me.   In fact, in 8 BC, the Roman State honored Augustus Caesar, the First Roman emperor, by changing the name of the month from “Sextilis” (the sixth month in the Julian calendar) to “Augustus,” (now known as the eighth month of the Gregorian calendar).  Ha!  Just a little history for you!

But I’ll be honest.  The real reason why I love the month of August is because it is when my birthday falls!  I am a Leo through and through after all!  I get to celebrate my birthday all month long which I often DO though it wasn’t always like that.  Sometimes I think I am making up for all the birthdays that I wasn’t able to celebrate as a child.  You see, when I was a kid we barely made note of birthdays in the family.  We couldn’t because there were too many of us!!

Still, not celebrating my birthday did NOT make me feel unwanted.  I knew that when the 20th of August came around, my parents were grateful and celebratory in their own way.  After my Mother’s second child, she had a miscarriage and the doctors told her that she would never have children again.  My parents continued trying (as you naturally do).   Being told they could have no more children made them desperately WANT to have more…. and poof, I was born!  My parents told me that they saw me as a miracle (I am a Leo) and that is why they named me Guadalupe after the Virgin Guadalupe.  Apparently, the doctors were wrong because my mother ended up having seven children total!  And believe it or not, we are ALL still alive.   I actually believe that is a miracle in and of itself!

I am not ashamed to say that I make a big deal out of my birthday!  Why not?!  I LOVE it!  I love receiving calls from all over the world from the people I love.  This fills me with warmth and joy.  I am not shy about it!  When my father was alive, he would always be the first to call me on the day of my birthday.  I loved it.  It would set the tone for the day!  After he passed away, my oldest sister took on that role of being the first to call and wish me goodness on my birthday.  I am always so grateful for everyone that takes the time to call me, share cake with me or even to take a shot of tequila with me on my birthday!  I am lucky.

Still, to this day, like anyone else . . . . there’s always that one person that I need to call me.   For some reason it means SO much to me to hear from this singular person and it can make or break my day if I don’t.  This person is my son.  He is my world!  Of course, he is.  That is what our kids are to us!  I can have all the celebration and companionship in the world but if my son is not there or not part of it, I cannot enjoy it as well.  Call it a Mexican thing if you want!  Ask any Mexican mother how she feels about her son calling on her birthday and she will say the same thing.  Until he calls, nothing else matters!  We are extremists maybe but we love our sons!

I remember one particular birthday, my son was living in Brazil and I was missing him very much.  I was anxiously waiting for his call.  Every time the phone would ring, I would drop everything thinking that it would be him on the other end.  Every time a bouquet of flowers was brought (Leo’s love flowers), I would open the card expecting a loving note from my son.  This birthday it was not him calling or sending flowers.  I waited, giving him time.  He was in Brazil after all and he did have a family he was attending to. I was patient.  He never did make himself apparent that day, but I clearly forgave him because I did not KILL him for not calling me!!!

The truth is that, of course, I forgave my son.  He was busy.  I am often number one on his list but I cannot always be even if we are Mexican!  We ALL get busy.  Important moments pass without celebration.  Were they that important?  What is meaningful?  Those who do show up?  Those who tried to be there?  Those who are always there but that one day they got wrapped up in their own lives?  I have matured in my thoughts and in my feelings (we eventually try to do that!) and in a sense I was very “young’” in my need to hear from my son that day.    He has his life.  He is doing his best at it.  He has (and on that day already had) his own two sons he was being present for.  He may not have not called me that day (nor sent me flowers nor a Mariachi to serenade me) but he was there for his own family.  In a way that is a gift in and of itself.

As I get older, even though it’s hard for a Leo, I TRY to be less self-centered and I try to be more of a centered self.   I try to be aware myself.  Am I being considerate with my own Mother or with my own siblings, kids and friends?  No, of course not.  I am not always the FIRST to call you on your birthday either.  I hope you forgive me.

I did make my son tattoo an 08/20 on his arm.

Just kidding!

Happy Birthday to me!  As always, please drop me a message telling me what your birthday means to you!