Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Thank You, Birthday

          The phone rang at 7:30 am today, and when caller ID showed me that it was from my daughter, my immediate thought was, “what’s wrong?”
But it was grandson #2 wishing me a happy birthday, and I was able to wish him a happy first day of sixth grade. I’m more grateful than I can say that it’s him, and not me, entering middle school for the first time.

          Remember all those movies where the main character somehow returns to being a child or a teenager? (e.g. Peggy Sue Got Married) Now that’s a horror movie. 

          Can you imagine returning to that level of anxiety? How did we ever live through it? It was exhausting worrying about how we looked, whether we’d have someone to eat lunch with, if we’d be able to operate our locker, and most awful of all, being different somehow from everyone else. Because we just knew that would lead to ridicule in some form. 

          When I taught high school, on more than one occasion I would find myself assuring a student that this time in their lives was just a small part of the greater whole of their existence. For my students, who to the most part lived in chaos and poverty, this message was more about them realizing they really would have autonomy over their own lives if they just hung in there. 

         Maybe the old saw that youth is wasted on the young is less true than the fact that they're the only ones resilient and optimistic enough to survive it. 

          I had no idea that this was where this post was going to go when I sat down to write it, but I will say that these thoughts are one more reminder that I’m very happy to be where I am in life. 

          Getting older is just fine with me. 

 (And is this creepy or cool? My Google search page appeared this morning with its name spelled out in birthday cakes, telling me that somewhere in the massive bowels of their machine, they're tracking my birthday. I wonder what else.)


  1. well, I had to check that out and went to google. no birthday cakes for me but then it's not my birthday. (I did see their new animated logo though.) and that's just sort of scary, the a search engine knows your birthday. happy birthday! and yah, I would not want to endure 7th grade through 9th grade again. Or high school either for that matter.

  2. Happy Birthday!

    School was enjoyable to me but that could be by comparison to home life. I was a nerd so every one wanted to copy my homework.

  3. One of the joys of getting old is having lived through JUnior High School!

  4. I never looked back at high school. I went to one class reunion, the 15th. Those who attended were still reliving high school.

  5. Happy birthday! I'm off to check out the new Google logo. And yes, it's nice not to be in any kind of school any more. :-)

  6. Happy birthday.
    And I am so with you on the not wanting to go back to those times. Waaaay too much anxt.

  7. Happy Birthday. Now I feel a little hurt. Google didn't acknowledge mine.
    I loved school and was always excited each year to go back--even middle school. Moving all the time like an army brat made me quick to adjust. I would have been a professional student if I could have afforded it.

  8. Well, since I peaked in jr. high, I'd like to go back!
    I finished your book. My favorite character BY FAR was Winston.

    1. He was the most fun to write because 95% of his antics came straight from real life here.

  9. Happy birthday. I'm with you, I wouldn't be a teenage again for anything, and I don't mind getting older, though I wish it would slow down a little.

  10. Happy birthday. Enjoy your day.

  11. Happy Birthday! I hope you had a wonderful day! :)

  12. Happy Birthday, Marty! I wouldn't mind being a few years younger, but no, I don't want to go back to those teen age years.

  13. Interesting that Google tracks your birthday (*~*)
    Happy Birthday!


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