As with all parents, I didn’t get to choose when my childrens’ birthdays are. My first was unplanned and the second took a while to show up. In any case neither of them arrived on their due dates anyway. When I found out they were due in July and September I thought it was great – they’d have plenty of birthdays in the garden, at the pool, having bbqs, all things I couldn’t do because of my crappy end of March birthday – often ignored because it falls on Easter weekend and most likely accompanied by foul weather.
A few years into this parenting gig and I’ve realised that summer birthdays aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. One son didn’t get to celebrate his birthday last year (September) as he’d just changed schools and didn’t know anyone there to invite over. The other son often has his birthday in the school holidays. This year as his birthday is one day before school finishes we thought we’d have a party for him at the local playground. Nope not going to happen as most of the parents have decided to ditch the last day of school and go on holiday so aren’t around.
Doing a quick straw poll of cousins and godchildren who have both beginning of school year and end of school year birthdays, it seems neither particularly wins. The elder ones say it’s rubbish because you’re finally old enough to do stuff (drive, go to clubs) and none of your school friends have come of age, so can come with you. The younger ones say that they have to watch all the older children come of age and get to do these things and by the end of the school year they still don’t get to do them because their birthdays are in the holidays.
Being a *ahem* few years past my own school days, I didn’t think this sort of thing would matter because it just affects the first few (15) years of your life. What I didn’t take into account is that these are during the formative years and I can completely understand the sense of being hard done by that both parties feel.
When they get too whiney about it I remind them that they could have a birthday at the end of March where no-one’s around because they have all gone home for Easter (this being because no-one who lives in London is actually from London) and on some years to add insult to injury, it also snows. All of a sudden, cousins and godchildren are very happy with the birthdays they have.