Monday, September 14, 2009
Why are birthdays important to us? That's a silly question. My birthday (in July, by the way) is important to me because I get presents and 24 hours of adulation. But I should get that every day. So there's something else. Because we celebrate birthdays of other people. Today, for instance, is my daughter's birthday. Sure, she's my daughter, and that alone makes her special. And maybe that's it. Seriously. Think about it. To me, she's special. To others in the family, she's special. Because she's the first grandchild -- the firstborn child of me or my sisters? That fact is true of her, but it's not what makes her special. If she had not been first-born grandchild, she'd be just as special as she is. No, what makes her special is ... her. Just being her. If you have children, think about them for a second. What makes them special? Nothing and everything. There's no one thing you can say makes them special. There are silly things you can cite, but they aren't what make that special person special. If that one thing went away, wouldn't they still be special? My children still would be special. Maybe it's that difficult-to-describe bond between a parent and a child. It takes a lot to break that bond. These special people -- children, siblings, parents, spouses, and other family -- are why we do things. Some, we've lost, but we remember the good times with them. Because they're special. They bring joy to our lives. They are the reason we care about the things we care about. The reason we do the things we do. They are our life.