Birthdays remind us we’re still kids
The first birthday I can remember was my sixth.And when I say “remember,” I mean really remember and not just think I remember because I saw a photo of myself as a 2-year-old obliviously trying to blow out two birthday candles.For my sixth, I had a little party at my house with about seven of my kindergarten friends. I can remember that we ran around outside and played “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.” But mostly, I remember making sure that Chip, the kindergarten boy I had a crush on at the time, sat right next to me during the cake-cutting and present-opening part of the party. Chip needed to sit right next to me because I was planning to plant a big kiss right smack on him. And I did. There have been loads of birthdays since then. They’ve evolved from trips to Disneyland and roller-skating rinks to days playing hooky to go skiing.
It’s funny because turning 21 or 30 or 40 ends up feeling a whole lot different than what you think it will when you’re younger. Somehow, back then, you think you’ll be different in some way, whether it be more mature, more of a grown-up – an adult, whatever that really is. But I’m here to tell you, it’s not that way at all. Yes, you’ve got lots of well-earned experience and some miles on you. But don’t you find you’re still very much you? Today is my husband’s birthday. He’s not much of a sweets guy, so we’ll bypass the birthday cake, but I’ll put him way up on a pedestal and treat him like a king for the entire 24 hours. That’s what birthdays are for, and I don’t care how old you are. Presents are part of his kingly-like day. Fortunately, Erik’s pretty easy to buy for because he’s not shy about saying what he’d like to have. “You can get that for me for my birthday,” is a sentence I’m used to hearing, pretty much year-round. I won’t divulge what I did get him this year, but I will tell you something that didn’t make the list.
About a month ago, while watching TV, Erik saw a commercial for a fancy remote control helicopter. He thought that was just the greatest. I admit it was kind of cool, but it was more of a guy thing, especially when I found out it cost $120. Erik called me at work one afternoon to remind me that this helicopter would make a great birthday gift for him, and as I was talking to him a woman I don’t know well came into our newspaper office. She listened briefly as I wrapped up the conversation, and hung up the phone.”That Erik,” I said to her, shaking my head and laughing. “He wants a $120 remote control helicopter for his birthday. I don’t think so!” She smiled knowingly.”And how old is little Erik?” she asked.
Yes indeed. The man turns 47 today. We get older every day, but I hope we never lose sight of wanting remote control helicopters and being treated like royalty on our birthdays.Happy Birthday, Erik. (And no, I really didn’t get you the helicopter. But I got you something else just as good.)Carrie Click is the editor and general manager of The Citizen Telegram in Rifle (citizentelegram.com). Carrie went innertubing on her 40th birthday. She can be reached at 384-9170, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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