Friday, July 1, 2005

And speaking of living....

Tomorrow is my son's birthday. He will be fourteen.

This morning, he woke up and asked me if he could take a day off from summer school, since tomorrow is his birthday. The summer school attendance policy is very strict, and I told him no. Then I realized that this was probably the first time of many that his birthday would pretty much be business as usual.

I guess it starts around fourteen. Prior to that, kids are Chuck-E-Cheesed and rented clowned into a birthday party craze. Then the slow decline happens; suddenly not every birthday is special. We begin to refer to 'big' birthdays. Sixteen. Eighteen. Twenty-one.

Then they're spaced even further apart. Nobody gives a damn if you turn 23, 27 or 32. But 25? 30? 35? These are 'big' birthdays.

It's kind of sad that life does become business as usual, even on your birthday. That a cake and a song lamely sung by your coworkers becomes the prize.

Even though he went to summer school today, I'm going to make sure my son sees us stop and fully acknowledge the day he came to this world. I hope I can teach him to do so himself, for each and every birthday, even when he's forty years old and sitting in the middle of a conference room. I hope I successfully impart to him the same advice my father gave to me: you only go around once, so make sure you have fun.

Fourteen years ago right this second, I was in labor. I had no idea what a joyous ride it would be.

Happy Birthday, baby.

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