Have you ever noticed how birthdays sometimes seem to bunch up in the same month in families? March is one of those months for my family. Not my birthday, but my daughter’s and niece’s and my mom’s. On Darrell’s side of the family there are five dates that are multiple family members’ birthdates. One day in August was the birthday of three of the grandkids born a few years apart. Of course as you may have guessed, he had a big family – three brothers and one sister. So that increases the odds of a birthday being duplicated with a new family member’s birth. I think we’re up around sixty on his side of the family counting all the kids and grandkids and even a few great-great grandkids now. That makes me a great-great aunt. Maybe I’d rather not think about that!!
But tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday. That’s hard enough to think about. Because, you see, somehow she’s gotten older than I tend to think about being myself. Do any of the rest of you forget your actual age – unless you make yourself remember? Have you settled on this other more acceptable age that maybe you reached several years past and just decided to stay? At least subconsciously. I’m not being Jack Benny and telling people I’m 39. I own up to my age when asked, but it’s just not where I am in my head. That mental age is hovering down there somewhere around my daughter’s age or even a little younger. I suppose my head’s in a bit of denial.
Still I love birthdays. Mine and everybody else’s. It’s such a great time to celebrate and make someone feel special. You don’t have to count them, but if you’re like me, you want to keep having them. So why not have fun? I won’t get to bake a cake for my daughter. She lives too far away to come home to let her mom cook her a birthday dinner and I miss that. Her birthday was always a great opportunity to make some sinfully delicious chocolate dessert. Remember Mississippi Mud. That was her birthday cake choice a lot when she was home. My sons always liked banana split cake. My favorite is homemade Angel Food cake with that great white icing. The cake takes twelve egg whites and the icing took a couple more and had to be cooked in a double-boiler while you stirred it for seven straight minutes. Then half the time I messed it up when I used to try to make it. That was back when I was more of a farm girl and had my own laying hens and would get so many eggs I had to try to use them up somehow.
Anyway I know you all will join in with me singing happy birthday to my beautiful daughter, Tarasa. And then next Monday is my mom’s 89th birthday. She’s probably thinking she’s younger than me although age is beginning to slow her down. She’s the last of her four sisters still living and she’s hanging in there. But let me tell you, Henry Louis Mencken hit the nail on the head when he said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” Things get harder. But Mom always said from the time she was a little girl that she wanted to live to be 100 and she may make it.
Just in case you’re having a birthday this month, here are a few quotes to make you feel better about getting older.
- To remain young while growing old is the highest blessing. – German Proverb
- Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. – C.S. Lewis, 1893-1963
- If wrinkles must be written on our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old. -James A. Garfield, America President, 1831-1881
May your spirit never grow old.