Something to celebrate

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Commentary by Heather Kestian

I love birthdays. I have always felt that there was something very special about a birthday. There is hope for another year of blessings, challenges and growth. Although not every year of life is easy, birthdays give us reason to believe the next year could be better.

After giving birth to two little people, I see more meaning in birthdays. I might never hear someone take his or her first breath or scream his or her first cry, but I do have the opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of the two very special little people I helped create. And believe me, we do celebrate in our family. After six years, I realized I have passed my love of birthdays on to my oldest.

Said six-year-old has been planning his birthday party for approximately three months. He is keenly aware of his half birthday, and I think he started to come up with ideas then, but held off sharing with me until November. One afternoon, he shared with me that he wanted a movie theater birthday party. Sure — kids sitting in the dark watching a movie for an hour and a half. Awesome! Where do I sign them up?

Then he gave me the list of people. Good lord, my little social butterfly. Let’s trim this down, shall we?

About two weeks before his birthday, he decided it was going to be a week-long affair. His sixth year of life would start with a sleepover with his best friend. We would bake two cakes because his best friend loves chocolate cake, but my son prefers vanilla (how thoughtful, right?). Then they would fall asleep while watching movies. The next week would be the birthday party with his 10 closest friends. Good gravy, child, what have I done?

Suffice it to say, I have created a birthday monster. Looking back on these six years, I see that I am not sure I would have it any other way. After all, the day of his birth forever changed my perspective on life. It gave me the opportunity to be a mom, and to watch someone else count his blessings, rise above challenges and grow into a wonderful young person. I get to watch him share his hopes and dreams, year after year — and that truly is something to celebrate.

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