Sunday, April 19, 2009


Yesterday I celebrated my twenty-nineth birthday. I have always been a big fan of birthdays and enjoyed remembering when my friend's birthdays are so that I could show them how much they mean to me by giving them a call, or sending them a card. I have been conflicted on the location of my birthday though. Since it is in mid-April it often falls on or very near to Easter. As a child this created problems for planning birthday parties. One year I had a birthday party where only one friend showed up. What is kids birthday party with one friend? On the flip side though, April always means the arrival of Spring and the ability for those in the Upper-Midwest to once again soak in the outdoors without covering every inch of our bodies with insulation.

Ohh the birthday party at Memorial Park with all my friends when someone gave me a foxtail (a ball with a streamer like silk tail that you could throw around) that was stuck in a tree within minutes of it exiting its packaging.

Then there was the infamous dual birthday party at the Yankton Inn where we played Wallyball and one of my best friends was mad at me because I chose to have this joint bash with a different friend whose birthday was also at the same time as mine. This party is brought up every year as we wish each other happy birthday in April.

How about the fourteenth birthday party in Sioux Falls where me and three budies stayed in the Ramkota with my dad and spent the day at the mall causing trouble? This was the year I receieved my first CD walkman. It was an Emerson that took SIX AA batteries and was heavier than an Algebra textbook. My first CD I bought was by Snow, "Informer!" Ahh the refined taste of a 14 year old living in Yankton, SD.

There was also the one where Nikki (my wife now, but girlfriend at the time) blindfolded me and drove me around in circles attempting to confuse me on where we may be going before heading to Yankton to celebrate with some of my family and best friend. This was the year she gave me the malt maker that still produces some killer treats. (And also scrambles eggs like you wouldn't believe.)

Can you tell that I love birthdays? The interesting thing this year was the explosion of birthday wishes I receieved from friends via Facebook. I have been writing down friends and family memebers birthdays on my old fashioned calendar for decades. Facebook eliminates that need for those who subscribe to this networking epidemic. There is no need to write anything down, Facebook pulls your "friends" info off of their profile page and infroms you when exactly their birthday is so that you may send them well wishes. It is fascinating to see the number of people who take the time to look at this and in fact wish you a Happy Birthday. My date of birth has not somehow changed over the past twenty-nine years, but now is broadcasted to the masses so that they may too join in my special day.

The sad thing about my birthday has not been the events that have signified April 18 throughout history, but the day after. So many tragedies have take place on April 19th that it always brings a somber mood the morning after the celebrations. The Branch Davidian invasion, Oklahoma City boming, Columbine shootings....the list goes on and on. Most parents are surprised by the exact day when their child is born, but all people are surprised on the day they die. Celebration and saddness surround the middle of April for me.

So I have 364 days to make the most of my 29th year of life here on this planet. What will I do? How much will my life change? Will we still be talking about the economic crisis as I ring in the big 3-0? I am not sure what this next year has in store for me, but I do know that my Redeemer lives and He will be near me as I journey along this road that we call life. Birthdays are such a beautiful thing that I think can be often overlooked. Take some time to write your friends and family memebers birthdays down and let them know that you celebrate the day they were brough into this world. A birthday wish is a sign of appreciation for the enrichment that person brings to your life and our world.

Thank you all for your birhtday wishes!

P.S. I could have typed a whole other blog about the wonderful cakes that my mom and wife have made me through the years.