If you ask around, you may find that families sometimes have uncanny clusters of birthdays. For my family, that cluster occurs in August. Both my maternal grandparents had their birthdays in August, although I don’t remember the exact days. My brother’s birthday is today; mine is on Thursday. My brother-in-law John’s is the 25th; Steve’s brother-in-law Dan’s is the 22nd. My husband Jim’s birthday was August 26. What could be the reason for all these babies being born this week?
Gotta be Thanksgiving. We are the product of grateful coupling, I suppose — cold nights and tryptophan relaxation. Why not? The harvest is in. Be fruitful and make babies.
As a child, my end-of-the-summer birthday precluded school parties and peer recognition. I was content with family gatherings that included spare ribs, corn-on-the-cob and chocolate cake (my frequently requested birthday dinner). My children introduced new birthday traditions, like Hoops & Yo-yo cards…
Lately, I’ve been giving myself year-end treats. I started this blog to mark my 50th year. The next year, I bought myself a digital camera to replace the Canon AE-1 that my husband had given me 33 years earlier. This year, I bought plane tickets for me & Steve to travel to California to visit my mother, my siblings, the family grave site (where my sister, my husband and my dad are buried), giant redwoods, tide pools, pinnacles and a winery. I am looking forward to unwrapping that gift slowly over 6 days. I want to savor it as much as I can.
At the piano in the old homestead. Photo by my sister DKK.
Today, though, I’m wishing my brother a happy birthday! He was a gift brought home from the hospital on my 11th birthday. He helped me grow up in a million ways — first by taking my place as the baby. As adults, we’ve always had miles and miles between us keeping us apart. I’m hoping that when that distance is bridged, we’ll find much to connect us again.
photo credit: Josh Galasso