After you hit 21, the only birthdays that really matter are the ones that end in zero. At least that's what one of the Miracle League dads opined yesterday. I don't know about that. 53 was a pretty big one. I had outlived my own dad by then which is not something every body with bad genes gets to do. At least not in Arkansas.
But 54 was pretty low key. NV had her kids so dinner with the grands took precedence over birthday celebrations. Which was fine with me. I knew that I would be pretty tired after running around with the ML kids all day. So sitting in my chair with a drink watching football sounded pretty good to me anyway. After all, I'm not getting any younger.
Birthday greetings have evolved over time. While I only got 3 paper cards this year, I got over a hundred e-mails, text messages and Facebook notifications commemorating this event. One of the birthday e-mails was from a local car dealer. Imagine how warm and gooshy that one made me feel.
Birthdays are far more important to little kids and being wished a Happy Birthday by a kid in a wheelchair or by a child that communicates by signing is especially poignant for some reason. Maybe it is because their complete and utter vulnerability is never far from one's mind. Birthdays are part of a finite time line. Some of these children will not make it to 54. They just won't. It's hard-it's impossible actually-not to count your blessings when you spend the day with these kids.
One of the kids was talking to NV about her dog. " Dad got her for me when my mother died. So I guess she would 3 years old by now." Afterwards NV said to me, " If I ever complain about anything ever again, just slap me."
Well, I won't do that. I don't hit girls. And I have a public record of having very little use for men who do. As in zero. But I understand the larger sentiment. And I agree with it.
Besides, there are worse ways to spend a beautiful Autumn day in Arkansas than hanging around playing baseball all day. Playing golf comes to mind. I got hugs all day from the good looking women that help out down there. And you thought my service to the Miracle League was entirely high minded. Shame on you. I got hearty handshakes from the men along with copious references to my advanced age and feeble mind. And that's as it should be.
Adult birthdays can be milked for at least a couple of weeks. It's a busy world and people got stuff to do. Time doesn't stand still just because yesterday means I lived longer than some folks would have wagered back in my twenties. I've got plenty of free lunches and dinners coming my way. Woo-hoo!
Spending your birthday under a clear blue sky with friends that you like and kids that you love is not a bad way to go about it.
Besides, just like NV says. I got no complaints. None at all.