Alyssa Mosher - From the Editor (Tom Bateman/AQ)

I was nine pounds when I was born and from what I’ve heard, that’s no small child. Pictures show me with what appears to be a full head of hair and possibly glasses.

But after a 17-hour labour, some impending nerve damage – and hopefully 22 years of awesomeness – my mom has forgiven me.

Twenty-two. Yupp, that’s how old I am. Just turned it on Friday and boy, was it a celebration. And it ought to be, right?

But for some reason, I’m one of the only people I know who openly loves birthdays. Most of my friends peg it as “just another day,” saying there’s no reason for me to go “out of my way” to make their birthday special for them.

But it’s not just another day – quite literally, actually.

Your birthday is your birth date after all, and if that isn’t special, I don’t know what is. It is the day, however many years ago, that you popped out of the womb (nine pounds and all) and into the world. It marks the beginning on your existence. Period.

So why not allow the people closest to you – and even those a bit further away – make you feel that specialness; why not let the whole shabamb happen – the cake, the presents – all for you for just one day. Would it kill you?

I, for one, love digging up those giddy, childhood feelings that get me excited about my birthday, the ones that used to have me and my friends perform as pop stars like Hanson and The Moffatts. (Yeah, we did that. Twice.)

Now that I’m in university away from my family, it’s been harder to recreate those moments. Who’s going to bake my cake? How many people will be around to sing “Happy Birthday?” That specialness seems somewhat diluted, often because your friends have so many other things on their minds (and they’re not your mom who most certainly remembers the day you were born – 17-hour labour or not).

My birthday this year started out quiet and subtle. Along with countless Facebook messages – some personal, some generic, all appreciated more than people know – I had a few packages to open and a nice meal with some close friends. It was typical, really.

Until it wasn’t.

I heard shushing as a rounded the corner, on the way up the stairs to my friend’s apartment. We were late for our meal downtown – or so they had me believe.

And then they were all there.

They threw swirly confetti at me just like in the movies and didn’t skip a beat before singing “Happy Birthday.” I could see everyone curved in a semi-circle, looking my way; it was everyone who had told me they couldn’t make it downtown that night, those whom I thought didn’t even know my birthday existed.

But they all knew, of course they did. And as I looked around the room, cheeks flushed, eyes wide, mouth gaping, I felt special.

It was then that I realized exactly what I’ve been vouching for this whole time. A surprise party is one thing, but the opportunity to give it is another. And a birthday is just that, releasing the childish excitement once again (hopefully minus the boy bands).

Plus, everyone needs a reminder once and a while. And if you can’t feel special on your birthday, then when can you, eh?

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