Watch a child on his or her birthday and you see these amazing things in action.
Eh-hem, we adults have much to learn.
We gnash our teeth and refuse to say our age. We fret over new gray hairs. We complain about slight but natural aches and pains that come with age. We dare not celebrate or make a fuss. No cake, thank you.
Children embrace. They relish. They count down the hours and the days and then….
Whoopppeeeee! It’s MY day! All mine!
All day long it’s as if you can almost see sparkles and twinkles flying from the tips of their hair to the corners of their smiles or in the steps that they take.
A BIRTHDAY! What could be better? This is certainly the best day of the whole year!
And, yes (hopefully) children do not share the same stresses and responsibilities that adults have. They can just loll in the moment and not have a care in the world. That is precisely the joy of childhood.
When does that joy stop for some adults? 18? 21? Year of the first mortgage payment? Year of becoming a parent? Year of the first wrinkle sighting?
Maybe it’s that society quietly tells adults that we should have more decorum. More restraint. Take it down a notch over there, if you please.
But why? You came into the world on THIS day. And if you are lucky enough, you are surrounded by many people who think that alone makes it a notable day.
And think of all the wonderful people you know (knew) that did not have the opportunity to celebrate a new year. They didn’t make it to the next candle on the cake. Can you imagine what they would probably give to celebrate?
One of my favorite movie moments is in the classic “On Golden Pond”. Henry is celebrating his birthday…he’s rather old..maybe 80 or so? They completely load his cake with candles. One for each year thus resulting in a heat-generating ball-of-light atop a cake. It’s fabulous. Total Hollywood over-the-topness. Henry, of course, makes his wish in his crotchety Henry style. But the cake is a winner.
Light, wishes…all good things for the ending of one year and the beginning of another.
Why, then, not celebrate yours? Take a cue from the younger set. Enjoy the bells and whistles. Have your cake. And eat it, too.