Happy Birthday!


Today is my middle son’s 18th birthday.  (Happy Birthday, JP!)  I thought the occasion called for a few thoughts on the way we celebrate this most loved (when young) and hated (when older) of days.

I always wondered what the deal is with birthday presents.  We shower gifts upon a person just for being born.  That’s like paying a friend for showing up at a party, and doing it on their own schedule.  The day you were born is, more than likely a day your mother will remember as one filled with anxiety and pain, only to be followed by more anxiety when the thought that she and your father are now responsible for a human life. 

The parents should get gifts.  And your mother should get a much better one than your dad.  He was only around for a few seconds when you were conceived. 

Next, the birthday spanking.  Now, this is one custom we celebrate with much fervor around my house.  Even my wife enjoys taking part in pinning down a child and pounding his behind.  As my kids have gotten older, this has become more of a challenge, especially when my oldest son got stronger from all that weightlifting for football.  But don’t worry.  We always performed the ritual, and no one was hurt.  But why in the hell do we do it? 

Because it rocks!  My wife and I don’t get spankings.  Yet.  But at the end of the spanking, we are all laughing, even the victim, and enjoying the togetherness of the moment.  As the kids get older, these moments get fewer and farther between.  We try our best to make them last as long as possible, because in a few years, this custom will end. 

Finally, the birthday cake.  We don’t always celebrate this one, especially for my wife and me.   I’m tired of having to call of the fire department every time we fire up the candles.  But we give our loved ones a cake, covered in butter creme icing, and served with ice cream…excuse me a minute.

Mmm.   That is good.  Anyway, why do we give the people we love something that is so bad for them?  And what if you don’t want cake?  I prefer pie.  Two years ago, I got a birthday pie.  It was great. 

The cake is just a holding place for the candles, which, of course, symbolize the years you have been around.  If you have to put out a fire, it might as well come with a sugary treat, right?  I don’t know what the statistics are for household fires resulting from a botched birthday celebration, but there have to be some.  Feel free to share if you know of one, or God forbid, have ever had one of these special events happen to you.

So, on JP’s birthday, I reflect on what his life means to me.  Worry, pride, fear, joy, and happiness. 

I guess that is probably the best reason to celebrate.  Just to be together with family and friends to let the birthday boy (or girl) know just how much we care.  With your kids, there will come a time when they won’t have time for you, even on their birthday. 

Enjoy ’em while you got ’em, friends.  They grow up fast. 

So, have some cake and shower them with gifts, then pound their ass.  It’s all a part of enjoying life. 

Any you should.  It’s a gift. 

-J

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One Response to “Happy Birthday!”

  1. Rhonda Says:

    Oh, Jon! That was hilarious!! You should post this one on your fb page. People love a good laugh! I’m crying… I laughed so hard. I especially liked the part about the PARENTS getting the gifts…great idea!! Thanks for the laugh! G’nite!

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