Today I was thinking about what makes a birthday special. When we are young children, birthday parties with friends and presents make our birthdays special. Sometimes those parties are not actually on the birthday, so the day of birth is bypassed in order to focus our energies on the party day. My mother taught me when I was quite young that my birthday was the only day of the year that belonged to me. From my earliest memories, I have excitedly waited for my birthday to come every year. Now into my 60’s, I still get excited. This day is my day.
I think that’s what I like most about hanging the numbers on birthdays. They don’t involve large sums of money or add to an overflowing toy chest. They are a tangible sign that this day matters because it is your birthday. Yes, that’s what it is. Birthdays are special because it is a day for people to say, “You matter,” and to know we matter is certainly special.