Saturday, May 12, 2007

26 Years of Birthdays

It's a funny thing about birthdays. When you're younger, it's a big party. You make lists of things you want, the type of party you want, the food you want, etc. That day truly does revolve around you. But as you get older, it's just another day, perhaps with a little slice of cake mixed in. The glitz and glamour is gone, and won't return likely until a rounded-number birthday, like a 30 or a 50.

But ya know what? That's okay to me.

26 isn't a big deal, and it shouldn't be. I'm years past legally purchasing alcohol, but not quite legit to run for president. I can rent a car or hotel room, but won't be eligible for AARP or senior citizen discounts for a while. 26: just another number.

But that's not to say that my past birthdays have been dull. I've had some great memories created on May 12...

at age 7, I remember my sister playing a clown and me hiding under my bed when I realized the girl I had a crush on just showed up at my party.

at 11, it was me with a dozen or so friends at the baseball park. A whole diamond to ourselves to be the baseball superstars we all knew we would be.

at 14, my dad took me to the Chesnee High baseball game. To this day I think back to that, and can't help but feel badly for young boys today who don't have a father around to take them to a game. I love my dad.

at 19, 20, and 21, it was friends from college surprising me. 19 was Sydney, Aubrey, Ricky, and others at the volleyball courts. 20 was Kimmie, Ledford, Alethea, Charlene, and others at the gazebo in downtown Charleston. 21 was at Miami Sub and Grill with Nick, Chris, Craig, Elspeth, all my family, and, most importantly, my future wife.

And here, at 26, it was Atlanta. A trip with my wife to see the Braves play. More fond memories I'll cherish.

The crazy thing about all these birthdays is that I can hardly remember any of the gifts I got. Oh, I'm sure there were some great ones. I know I got the cards with money, probably some baseball cards, and maybe a Nintendo game or two, but I don't really recall specifically what I got. Heck, half of those gifts are probably trash now. But I do remember the people that were there, the laughs shared, the smiles worn. And I remember how much I appreciated friendship. How much I appreciated family. How blessed I am by God, to celebrate number 26 today.

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