I was born one minute after Christmas, and I’ve always felt special because of it.* So when, on my birthday six months after Tim and I got married, our nephew Nick was born, I suddenly had my own birthday buddy—somebody with whom I could share this specialness—as well as ensuing birthday celebrations.
That was 24 birthdays ago, many of which Nick and I have celebrated together. The last two Decembers, though, he’s been on the other side of the planet in a tiny third-world village in Mali, and I’ve wondered when we’ll be in the same room for a birthday again.
Life, of course, is full of surprises. After finishing up with the Peace Corps and returning to the U.S., Nick has moved to Santa Fe and will be staying with us before heading off to med school next year. Kind of a rest stop between adventures.
When I was a kid, my grandparents, worried that I’d feel left out since my bro and sis both had summer birthdays, used to send me “half-birthday happies.” I’m thinking maybe it’s time to revisit that idea and do some summer celebrating. Happy Half-Birthday, Y’all!**
*Gotta chalk this one up to my mom, I realize now. The power of the positive pitch. Some people might think of a post-Christmas birthday as a pain: a day that gets lost in the holiday shuffle, a day for Christmas leftovers as birthday presents, an afterthought, etc. But not me. I grew up thinking of MY day as a reason for everybody to keep celebrating even after Christmas had passed. “The fun’s not over yet, people!”
**Yeah, yeah, I know that technically our half-birthday isn’t until next month. But with all of life’s uncertainties, why wait to celebrate?
Photos: 1) A birthday bagel shared across the miles when Nick was in Mali. (The photos were actually taken in the spring in Santa Fe, when he and I were just across the table from one another. But it was fun to send him this as a birthday greeting last year when he was far, far away from anything remotely bagel-like.) 2) Birthday buddies in 1987.
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