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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thank you for the day

On a nice walk this evening, I finally figured out something that I hadn't quite understood previously, despite having thought about it most of my life. That something is birthdays. I have always been able to reason why we celebrate these days, but I have never really felt it in my gut.

Of course, it's a celebration of the person whose day it is. We take time to appreciate that individual, their uniqueness, their spirit, their character, their contributions to the world, and to us. We think about how much poorer life would be without them.

It all makes sense, and it's pretty to think about, and of course I've been through the ritual hundreds, if not thousands, of times. I've even been on the receiving end of the day's wishes more than 50 times myself.

But today it's more than a nice idea, and a kind gesture. Today it's visceral. Today is my older daughter's birthday.

I think back to this night seven years ago. Right now the Mrs. was in the thick of it. The doula was there, and we all played our roles. After several difficult hours, the path cleared. The child emerged. The tears were streaming down my face. Every hair on my body was standing on end. The spirits in the room were deafening. The doctor handed her to me and said, "Here's your baby."

There is no greater moment. And so tonight I figured out why birthdays are such a big deal. It's like graduation ceremonies, and wedding receptions. It's not for the birthday girl, or boy. It's for the parents. It gets them get back in touch with that magic, blessed, unspeakably wonderful instant in time.

Not everybody gets to do it, and not everybody wants to do it. But for those of us who do, it's worth a party, every year.

Comments (4)

Congratulations, Dad. Pretty cool stuff, huh?

Nice post. I have heard from some of your neighbors who live near you that you are a pretty crusty guy. Don't go all soft on us now.

Having a daughter is swell. I remember both of mine, now over 30 years ago as if it happened yesterday. Wait until you have grand kids.

I have heard from some of your neighbors who live near you that you are a pretty crusty guy.

Would that be the ones who think it's fine to let their dog bark uncontrollably for a half hour at a time at 7 in the morning? Or would that be the clown who works for MetroFi?

I didn't check the size of his feet.

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