frontpage hit counter

Honest Abe

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-20-2004

Within a few days of the birth of a child in the Netherlands, the father- or, I suppose, any legal guardian will do- must go to the City Hall of the town where the child was born and register the birth. Han did the registering all three times, in our case, while I sat at home upon the largest and coldest thing that I could find in the freezer.

Now, when The Boy was born, The Father seriously wanted to lie about when he was born. He wanted to report that The Boy was born a few hours later, on May 5. ‘It would be so easy then to remember his birthday ‘, The Father said, ’05-05-95′. I- of course- would not tell a lie, and so The Boy still retains his true birth date : May 4th, 1995.

Recently though, I’ve been questioning the namby pamby, I- cannot- tell- a – lie stance that I took back then. I can never remember how to write his birthday- is it 04-05-95 or 05-04-95 ? And this year, one of the subjects that he is being introduced to in school is History.

History fascinates him, he sucks it up and tells me all about what he has learned. I- of course- am pleased that he finds it so interesting, for I do as well. I don’t really know why, but in his class this year, WWII comes up again and again. Oh, they’ll go over the Romans for a short while, but then the next thing that I know, he’s telling me all about Anne Frank.

Now, The Boy has always known that his birthday coincides with a National Holiday here, it just never- I guess- sunk in just what sort of holiday it was, for you see, May 4th is Dodenherdenking.

Last week, The Boye came up to me and we were chatting and he said, ‘You know, my birthday is on Dodenherdenking. That’s kind of creepy, don’t you think ?’. ‘No’, I said, ‘That’s just when you were born.’ ‘Do you think’, he asked me ‘that the town father’s will be angry- that I will get in trouble- if people sing Happy Birthday to me on my birthday, on Dodenherdenking ?’. ‘No Boy, it is- after all- your birthday, and you are just a little boy.’

As well as being easier to remember, May 5th is also a National Holiday , celebrating the liberation of the Netherlands from the Nazi s. A less gruesome birthday than Dodenherdenking, a memorial day for those who died during WWII.

  1. Viki Said,

    …just as Aidan was born on the year anniversary of 9/11 attacks. When I was walking around Wal-Mart the few hours before I had him, I was asked when I was due, and I said.. “Right now” they were happy then realized the date. They literally cringed at me. “OH what a HORRIBLE day to have a baby, don’t you feel bad?” Umm no, I dont! I was never asked for an induction, and I was already a week overdue. Like my other two, he came when he came, and that is when he chose to show up. Events like that can’t be helped… an eventual good came from a day that was so horrible. Just like today being the Columbine memorial. My best friend who happens to live in Colorado, was born today. Not like that will stop her from celebrating turning 30.. lol. ((Hugs)) to Mike

  2. sue Said,

    In a certain way that is how I feel and what I told Mike- to keep it short, that even when we we remember death, we must always celebrate life.

    Uh- too many kids here today- my brain hurts !

  3. Karan Said,

    I was happy to see some other mom in the world mixes up her kid’s birthday….at least mentally…Rej was born on 10-21-1990 and I mix it up with 10-20-1991 all the time.

  4. Catherine Said,

    I just remembered – Han’s is on Armistice day, isn’t it? That’s quite a pair of birthdays they’ve got. We’re off to Kevin’s folks today for the weekend – hope you all have a good time.

  5. sue Said,

    And somebody else is having a birthday on a Dutch National Holiday soon as well !

    ‘How oh-old are you ?
    How oh-old are you ?
    How oh-old are you-hoo ?
    How oh-old are you ?’

    Hope you have a fine time !

  6. Catherine Said,

    Thank you!

Add A Comment