Another birthday has gone by and the year is moving along at its normally quick pace. Birthdays have always been a cause for celebration in my life. We are not guaranteed a long life so every year that I reach a new age, I find myself reflecting, feeling very blessed, and thankful that I had a year filled with a lot of laughter and love.
My parents would throw me the best birthday parties when I was younger and as I have gotten older they still add their own special touch. My mom would decorate the entire house; have a variety of snacks, food, and an assortment of games for me and all my friends to enjoy. I remember one year the games were so much fun that my older siblings and their friends joined in the festivities.
There is always a cake involved with candles because you have to make that ever-so-special birthday wish. You only get one birthday a year so you have to make that wish count.
So the idea of celebrating a birthday and making it a big deal has been etched in my heart since childhood.
This concept has flowed into my adulthood and everyone in my family gets a birthday party whether they like it or not. After the party when you walk the last person out and you look around at the mess the thoughts are always the same…what a great time. You realize that you just shared your birthday with some amazing people and you would not have had it any other way. Let’s not forget about those wrapped packages or those wonderful cards that say such heartfelt things that can bring tears to your eyes.
My birthday this year was a little different. There was no decorating, no cooking at home, and no mess.
We got together at a nice restaurant and enjoyed a meal in the wine cellar. We had a dedicated server and the quiet intimate setting was just what I needed.
I looked around the room and thought about how special each person was and how fortunate I am. However there were a few people missing like my stepson and his new wife who are currently residing in Hawaii. Also, I greatly missed my father not being there but he has good reasons. We will just have to celebrate together at a later date.
I am very blessed that there is so much love in my family and when we get together we look forward to it.
At the end of the dinner they brought out a cake and everyone sang the traditional “Happy Birthday” song. It was time to make my birthday wish. I closed my eyes tight and blew out the candles. I can’t tell you what I wished for because then it won’t come true. If it does come true, I will let you know.
As we get older and find out that Santa Claus is not real, the Easter Bunny doesn’t exist, and not everything is rainbows and unicorns (as my colleague Rich Paloma often reminds me) does that mean we need to leave behind the magic, fun, and silliness that filled our youth?
I say NO, we don’t have to leave that behind. We can carry some of it into our adult lives. Life is too short and the quality of life that you will get to live can change at any time. So live life to the fullest, if you have time of course. There is so much negativity in the world that trying to keep some of the silliness is okay. There are always going to be challenges in life. No one is ever problem free, worry free, or stress free completely.
So go run through the sprinklers, stomp in a puddle, lie on the grass and make shapes out of the clouds and celebrate your birthday. It should truly be a celebration of life, your life.
My birthday has passed and even though I wasn’t in the mood to have a celebration, I am glad I did. The memories that were made and the moments that were shared are priceless and always remember, a birthday wish still matters.
Virginia Still is a reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.