October 2018 480.632.7373 jensenlawaz.com
Being an October Baby How My Birthday Celebrations Have Changed as I Age
As a kid, I hated having an October birthday. Growing up in Wyoming, the weather was always blustery and cold, so there wasn’t much to do. Meanwhile, it seemed like most of my friends had spring and summer birthdays, which meant they could have what I considered to be fun birthday celebrations. I remember thinking that someday I wanted to be able to celebrate my birthday in the warmer weather. (Looking back, I’m not really sure what I thought that would look like.) That doesn’t mean my birthdays were boring, though. My family was a traditional birthday celebrations kind of family. My mom was big on making sure we felt special and loved on our birthdays, ensuring my five siblings and I each had a cake and got our favorite cereal on our own day. Every other day of the year, it was bland, boring cereal, but on my birthday, I had Apple Jacks or Fruit Loops. There was no way I was sharing with my siblings, either. My wife and I seem to have rebelled against both of our parents’ strict cereal rules, as we always have the sugary cereals stocked for our four boys.
Now, living in Arizona, my childhood dream has come true. I spend my birthdays in 90-degree heat, enjoying time with my family. My family and I don’t really do anything extra or different for my birthday now that we’re in a warmer climate, but it is exciting to have those warm- weather options. My wife and I love to make the kids’ birthdays a fun, big deal. Every year, my wife will decorate the kitchen the night before, so when one of the kids comes down on their birthday, it’s a “surprise.” We also celebrate with doughnuts, per family tradition, and we designate a day to hold a family event. As parents, birthdays are a bittersweet event. We love spending family time with our children, celebrating their successes and making more memories with them. Their birthdays keep us young, and each child’s day is a little different. The teenagers are indifferent about what to do and would likely rather spend time with their friends. But it’s still exciting watching my youngest get pumped for his birthday. It happens
to be five days after Christmas, so it’s just constant celebrations for a week for him.
That optimism and excitement of a child on his birthday is a reminder to have fun on our own birthdays, especially as we age. Put me in my backyard with my family, some BBQ, and endless laughter, and I’ll have a great birthday. Sure, the warm weather helps with that scenario, but that’s really all the birthday present I need.
I’ll still take sugary cereal, though.
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