GrazieFirst, let me thank you for your patience while I switch over to a self-hosted WordPress site. There have been some interesting glitches in the transition, and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the oddities. I appreciate you bearing with me while the kinks get ironed out.

Today I want to discuss birthdays.

April is a busy month for my family. We celebrate a lot of birthdays in April. And I mean A LOT of birthdays. There’s my mom, my husband’s Great Aunt Lena, me, my husband, my husband’s cousin Brian, my Great Aunt Nellie, my Grandma Mary, and my nephew Zak. And that isn’t including our friends with April birthdays. That’s just family.

When we lived in Pennsylvania, we were at a dinner or a party every weekend, usually two or three times a weekend. Sometimes parties were doubled up; sometimes they were moved to the middle of the week. That still happens, only we aren’t there to partake in the festivities. Now we send a gift and call in our happy wishes.

Grandma Mary BirthdaySaturday was actually my grandmother’s 96th birthday, but they celebrated my Aunt Nellie’s 90th birthday (her actual birthday fell on Easter, so they pushed the party back a week). On my grandma’s 90th, we had a surprise party for her. I made it home for that, and enjoyed seeing all my family just as much as she did. Last year, for her 95th, I couldn’t be there, but a friend of mine went to her house and gave her a hug as my proxy. That’s something neither my grandma nor I (nor my friend, I’d imagine) will ever forget. It was really special. This year, because my grandma and my aunt kind of shared their special day, my cousins got my grandma her own cake and everyone sang to her at my aunt’s party. My grandma was tickled that they honored her that way at someone else’s party. But that’s what family does. They remember you. They celebrate you. They make you feel special and loved.

My husband was away on business this year for his birthday. I didn’t even get to see him. But I called him and emailed him many times on his birthday, and when he did come home, we showered him with gifts and made him his favorite meal and a giant cake. We even bought three kinds of ice cream to cobble together a close approximation of spumoni for him (his favorite ice cream).

Most people go out of their way to make a kid’s birthday special. Why did we stop making adult birthdays a big deal? Is it because of this stigma we have about age? That’s foolish. We need to stop lamenting turning older and celebrate the fact that we made it another year. We’re another year wiser, tougher, more experienced.

My grandmother is ninety-six, and she gets more beautiful and more interesting every day. She’s funny and kind and she has the best outlook on life that I’ve ever heard. I can only hope to have the kind of life and longevity she’s had. I don’t know when your birthday is, but I encourage you to live each day to the fullest, and celebrate life the way a child celebrates a birthday—with joy.

For Writers:

Have you found that your writing is missing something? Perhaps it’s lacking character development. Sometimes a good way to show who a character is is to show him in a social setting. Throw a birthday party. Having your character interact with his family and friends can reveal a lot about him.

  • Is he antisocial? Have him stick to the periphery and struggle with even perfunctory conversations.
  • Is he a manipulator? He’s the guy greasing the wheels between the movers and shakers at the party.
  • Is he the all around good guy? He’s the one moving group to group, trying to make everyone happy.
  • Is he the bad boy? He’s the one encouraging someone to do something that isn’t a good idea (although it might be fun).

You get the picture. This is your chance to show all your characters interacting with each other and let their personalities develop. Maybe your readers’ suspicions are confirmed; maybe they’re in for a surprise. Use the party to your advantage.

For Everyone:

Birthdays only come once a year. We should go out of our way to make them special for people. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the year we’re off the hook. We really should strive to up our game every day. Then think how special birthdays would become! Have you ever done something special for someone on his or her birthday? Or on any day as a unique treat? Do you have any ideas for making someone’s day extraordinary? Let’s talk about it.


One response

  1. Many thanks for various other fantastic submit. In which different could everyone get that kind of information and facts in these an ideal means of writing? I own a display next week, exactly what on the seek out these kinds of facts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.