I received my invitation to join the AARP early last week. A week earlier the letter from the Secretary of State telling me my plates were about to expire came in the mail. Both served as a reminder that I was about to get older. Three days ago, I completed my 50th trip around the sun. I celebrated the 11th anniversary of my 39th birthday, as I like to say. My milestone birthday was celebrated in quarantine.
All over Facebook there are “quarantine items” you can have made. You can have things like: “Our first anniversary – in quarantine,” “Class of 2020 – the one spent in quarantine,” or “I turned 50 in quarantine and all I got was social distancing,” put on T-shirts, coffee mugs, or just about anything. I’m thankful that I didn’t get any of that stuff for my birthday. As a matter of fact, I am glad it happened while in quarantine!
Why would I be glad about that? Well, I know my wife. She would have found a way to throw me some sort of party. Don’t get my wrong, I would love to see all my friends and family. I just wouldn’t want all the hoopla surrounding my age. I can see all the black “Over the Hill” balloons, “Look who’s 50!” banners, and I’d receive gifts like a cane with a bicycle bell and rear view mirror on it! No, I don’t need that. Besides, most of my close friends are all turning 50 this year, too. I’m sure there will be some sort of birthday party down the road for one of them. I can go to that and celebrate with them! Hell, maybe a joint party is needed?
We had some errands to run early in the day, so I was out when my oldest son called me. I felt bad, because he drove to my house to surprise me with a card. He left it in the door for me and he had me video chat him when I got home. He told me he couldn’t find a Tim Horton’s card, so he opted for Burger King, because he knows I drink their coffee, too!
Another friend texted me and said “Yo! What is your favorite beer?” This made me chuckle. I told her that was the weird text of the day and told her two of my favorites. On the drive home, I received another text from her that simply read: “Yo! Check your porch!” When I got home there was a six pack of each of my favorite beers and a wonderful heartfelt note.
One of the errands we had to run was for my wife. She had me stop at this local bakery and sent me in to pick up her order. She had asked me earlier in the week what my favorite ice cream was. I told her it was probably Mint Chocolate Chip. This little bakery made me a Mint Chocolate Chip birthday cake. It was simply delicious! It tasted just like the ice cream!
She and Ella made me a very special birthday gift. I cannot even begin to tell you how special it is. She took Ella’s footprints and made a heart. I cried when she gave it to me. I always hope that she will see me as her first love and her hero! I can’t wait to hang it up.
Ella’s feet were busy this week. 10 days earlier, for Mother’s Day, I had also used her feet for an art project. Funny how my wife and I think alike … I heard Sam singing “You are My Sunshine” to Ella one day and then found this idea, and made it for her.
Throughout the day, there were countless Facebook messages, calls from my son, brother and father, and text messages from friends and family. Getting to spend my birthday at home with my wife and daughter meant the world to me. As a matter of fact, it was the perfect way to spend the day.
Her smile just melts my heart!
So what will 50 bring? I don’t know. What do I wish for? Good health. Weight loss. A growing family. Less stress. Job security. More family time. To be a better husband and father. Less debt. Better time management. A deeper and stronger faith. To be more forgiving. To be less angry. The ability to let go of the things that hold me back. To be more positive. To make amends for wrongs I have done. To look at each day as a gift. To listen more. To smile more. To love and cherish those who are important to me.
Cheers to another year!