On Friday, I was driving to work and I thought, “What day is it” I did some mental calculations in my head to determine that it was the 22nd. I was satisfied until I realized I wasn’t entirely sure what month I was in. Some more calculations determined that it was, in fact, July. Again, feeling satisfied, I drifted away from that thought and had almost entirely turned my attention to something else when something inside my head persisted that I was missing an important piece of the puzzle. I was jolted back to counting days when I realized that July 24th is a signifcant date. It’s my birthday.
Okay, I can be excused for forgetting my birthday, right I mean I’ve got a couple of distracting elements in my life right now and it’s okay that my birthday is just another day in getting to know my two little ones a bit more.
I do have some fond memories of birthdays past. I remember turning eight years old, we had just moved from a little country town to Santa Cruz, California where my mother was attending school. I didn’t know anyone but my mother was determined to throw me a party. I don’t recollect where the kids came from but I do remember accompanying my mother to downtown Santa Cruz to pick up my birthday cake. It was there we saw a group of people in a brightly painted, old school bus. They wore outlandish outfits and had long hair (okay, so that describes just about everyone in downtown Santa Cruz, but they were a bit more over the top) and seemed to be some sort of traveling sideshow. I distinctly remember my mother rolling down her window and shouting at them, “Hey, do you guys do birthday parties” The next thing I know we’re being entertained by a bunch of nomadic gypsies with puppets, ballon animals and all things fun. A good birthday.
For my 23rd birthday, I was living in New York City and I happened to notice that the New York Mets were playing my favorite team, the San Francisco Giants on my birthday. I hopped on the subway to the ballpark where I bought the best seat I could afford. I always keep score at games and as I was marking my scoresheet early in the game I noticed the young boy sitting next to me watch what I wrote in my scorecard and then write the exact same thing in his. Soon enough I was showing him how to keep score and we talked baseball for the rest of the day. His favorite player was Bobby Bonilla who was a teammate of Barry Bonds in Pittsburgh. I noticed that the boy was at the game with his mother. At the end of the game, a Giants win, we said our goodbyes. The mother made eye contact with me for the first time and mouthed the words, “Thank you.” For the first time, I got a glimpse of bringing my son to a baseball game.
Today, I held my son and daughter in my arms while simultaneously feeding both at 5:30 a.m. They were both very alert for such an early morning. They looked up at me over the end of the bottles in their mouths as I told them how much they mean to me. I’ve never had such a good birthday present.
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