Sunday, June 1st, was my Birthday. Without giving away an exact number, I'll say that I'm a LOT closer to 40 than I would like...
What can I say? It was one HECK of a day. I started off with an old stand by - I took my son to the Home Depot. That is ALWAYS a thrill.
After that, my wife and I and all four kids met my parents at a local restaurant.
Have you ever seen National Lampoon's: Christmas Vacation?
EVERYTHING went wrong. The poor waiter was brand new, and really didn't know what the heck he was doing. It was still early enough on a Sunday that the after-church crowd was still around, and it was very busy. He had nobody to help him, and he mixed EVERYTHING up. My father and I couldn't stop laughing. He mixed up the drinks. Then he spilled one on the birthday cards the girls had spent all morning making for me. He brought us the wrong appetizers. Then he forgot to bring one of my daughters' meals entirely. Finally, when it was time for ice cream, he brought it for the adults and forgot all of the kids. It was a disaster.
But what can you do? He was just a kid himself, he was obviously very new, and he was overwhelmed. My Dad and I just kept laughing at everything, and tried to get him to laugh along with us.
Afterwards, my wife and I took the kids to the park and, wouldn't you know it, the water pump in my van cracked open like an egg JUST as I was pulling into my parking space. It drained all of the coolant out of my radiator, all over the parking lot. By this time, I just couldn't stop laughing.
We had a WONDERFUL time at the park. We visited war memorial and walked along all of the trails there, then went up the hill to the petting zoo (the worker there was nice enough to fill up a water jug for me to pour into my radiator, just so I could get the van home safely) and pet the goats/sheep/horses/etc. The peacocks were putting on a show for the females, and all the kids were amazed by their beautiful plumage. And they had two new pigs in the pigpen. Pigs are ALWAYS a big hit with the kids, because they are totally gross and disgusting.
(Brief Aside: I had alway been told that it was a myth that pigs were dirty animals. For anyone who hasn't been to the zoo in a while, you may be surprised to find that THAT'S the myth. Pigs are actually unspeakably dirty. They revel in projectile defecation.)
Perpective counts. If you get wrapped up in the ups and downs of daily existence, it can certainly wear on you. But both of my parents are still alive, thank G-d. Not everyone my age gets to say that. I have a beautiful and wonderful wife, and we both love each other very much. Unfortunately, not everyone gets to say that, either. And I have four smart, healthy, well-adjusted kids. And I got to spend my birthday with all of them. I am a VERY lucky guy, and I REALLY enjoyed my birthday.
(Special thanks to one of my wife's dearest friends; she invited everyone over and threw a birthday dinner-party for me later that night. The London Broil was perfect).
Happy Birthday to Me!