It’s my birthday today. I am 45 years old.
I love celebrating my birthday. It’s the one day of the year that I get to feel like a kid.
I was always so excited to wake up on my birthday and receive all the birthday greetings and wishes from my family and friends. I always felt like a king on my birthday. I would always get a special birthday dinner, parties (specifically, bowling parties complete with boiled hot dogs, coke and French fries) and of course, birthday presents!
There were two particular birthday presents that stand out in my memory.
The first was a toy drum set that my parents gave me when I was probably 8 or 9 and the other was a white race car that you could sit in and operate with pedals like a bicycle. I got to drive it up and down the driveway and sidewalk in front of my house and it was the closest I would get to being like Mario Andretti.
I loved the feeling of excitement as my mom would bring out my big delicious birthday cake, complete with candles (always with one extra for good luck); making that wish before I blew them all out and a further wish with the first slice and of course, me getting the first piece!
My birthday memories are vivid….and I have to admit that I get just as excited celebrating my birthday now as I did when I was a kid.
I love the special things my wife and daughters dream up to celebrate my birthday. My girls still like to make their own cards. Seeing their faces and the look of pride as they hand over their “labor of love” for me to read, gives me an immense joy. If my birthday falls on the weekend, I love that they will bring me breakfast in bed, complete with coffee, fruit and yogurt or sometimes even a croissant. I love the absolutely amazing hugs and kisses they shower on me.
I love getting birthday wishes on Facebook and phone calls from close friends and family who still sing me the happy birthday song (I never get tired of it).
I love being able to go to my favorite bagel store to get my free dozen bagels if I show them proof (fortunately, the bagel store that offers this is a chain and I am able to hit more than one location).
I love how my birthday even gets me best wishes from business associates/colleagues (and sometimes a Starbucks gift card!)
Birthdays are wonderful occasions and I believe that with each year that passes, birthdays become even more special and have more meaning. They don’t remind me of another year passing or how old I am getting. Instead, they remind me of how fortunate I am to be alive and present and surrounded by people that love me and who think I am special. Celebrating birthdays also forces them to stop…to slow down and to celebrate. Filling out a birthday card for someone special, gives the author of that card a moment to reflect on the person that they are writing the card to and how important that person is to them. Birthdays are a great common denominator. I can’t wait to celebrate the rest of my birthday day today with my family.
What is your greatest birthday memory? If you feel the urge, please feel free to share.