Well happy birthday to me. Another year has somehow passed by without me noticing. They tend to do that.
Celebrating my birthday always makes me think of my parents. On a sentimental note, I think of the decision that they made to have a fourth child, conceived several years after their third. Thank you for choosing life Mom and Dad.
My parents have told me for years that time goes by more quickly the older you get. I never quite understood what they meant by that when I was younger, as everyone was stuck with 24 hours each day, and time was measured using the same atomic clock for everyone. However, they have once again been proven to be oh so wise. It didn't take long for me to realize that the busier my life became, the faster the days, the weeks the hours would fly by. Now as my wife and I try to keep-up with three busy kids of our own, we can hardly believe how the seasons come and go.
Birthdays also make me think of my parents because of the perpetual gift dilemma... What do you buy your parents for their birthday? As children, this is a very frustrating situation. You would like to buy a nice gift to recognize your parents' special day. However, what do you buy somebody who pretty much has everything that they need? Oh sure, it would be great to present them with a 'round the world cruise or a new car, but financial realities moderate those ideas rather quickly.
When we ask our parents what their wishes are, the response is usually something like "Oh just keep your money, there's no need to buy us anything." That just won't do though, as we are compelled to try and make them feel special with a gift, so we usually wind-up giving them something that is either very practical ("Dad says to just get him some new socks.") or very impractical ("Oooh! Another flower vase!").
The humorous side to this story is that for all of the complaining I have done to my parents about this, I now find myself in the very same situation. Our children are in their teens and usually have enough pocket change to want to buy Mom and Dad a little something for their birthdays. Trouble is, we don't really need anything either, so we repeat the same speech "...there's no need to buy us anything," while our children desperately try to choose between the socks or the flower vase.
Whenever your birthday is, happy birthday to you.