Thursday, August 31, 2006
Birthdays come quicker
My 4-year-old came crawling into our bed early Friday morning.
Rubbing her still sleepy eyes, she said, “Happy birthday, Daddy,” and gave me a hug.
That was a great way to start my special day.
Not long after I arrived at work my cell phone rang. It was from the 205 area code (north Alabama). I knew who that was and why she was calling.
Instead of the typical “hello,” I said jokingly, “Now I wonder why you are calling me today. This is just an ordinary day.”
It was my mother.
It’s a tradition – she calls me on my birthday, and I call her on hers. I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten.
She asked me if I was feeling older.
I said, “Yes.”
Maybe that’s because it had been a rather hectic week – the first full week of school, busy time at work and more.
“It’s hard to believe,” Mother said, referring to her youngest child turning 45.
It’s amazing how much faster birthdays come around these days.
When you’re 10, it seems you’re 10 forever.
When you’re 13, you start wishing you were 16 so you could get your driver’s license. It seems those three years will never pass.
When you’re 16, you start wishing high school graduation would come around quicker.
And then there’s college and that first job.
It seems like yesterday when I was attending the University of North Alabama and bringing those dirty clothes home every weekend for Mother to wash.
It seems like yesterday (it was actually 20 years ago) when I moved to Mississippi and went to work in Fulton at The Itawamba County Times.
Then a few years later I was 28 and not married and people started wondering if I was ever going to settle down and tie the knot.
My wedding 17 and a half years ago seems like yesterday, too. I think the years really picked up speed when I turned 35.
The reminders of my latest birthday kept coming Friday. Both my sisters called. That’s a tradition, too – Vickie and Gayla telephoning me on my birthday and me calling them on theirs. I think I may have forgotten theirs a time or two over the years.
They, too, bugged me about getting older. But they couldn’t kid around very much. They’re older than me.
I spent my “birthday night” doing one of the things I enjoy most about my job of publishing a weekly newspaper – covering high school football.
My birthday celebration actually came Saturday. We went to Memphis for some putt-putt golf, burgers on Beale Street at Dyer’s, bowling, a movie and even part of the Redbirds’ game.
Now, Pam, Emma, Andy, Erin and I didn’t do all of those things. We split up for the bowling, movie and baseball game.
It was some extremely enjoyable family time, something we don’t do enough these days. The birthday boy won the putt-putt golf, the bowling, and Andy and I saw the final three innings of the Redbirds’ game against Nashville with Memphis winning dramatically in the bottom of the 10th.
I think a lot these days about retirement – will it come 15 years from now, 20 years from now, will it ever come? And really there needs to be some planning, looking ahead. But most of all, I need to live each day to its fullest.
I need to enjoy age 45 and every year thereafter, and be thankful.
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