I had a FaceTime conversation with my mom yesterday, which always makes me think of that Louis C.K. monologue on Conan about how nobody appreciates technology, how we should all be screaming in amazement on a plane because we’re flying through the air. I agree and I still participate. How we like to grumble about miracles, from cell phone reception to slow internet connections. Guilty.
But I can marvel a little, particularly about how superior FaceTime seems to be compared to other video-chat software, and how nice it is to see my mom’s face wishing me a happy birthday, and how nice it is to have a birthday. And how nice everything is. So, I’m maybe a little giddy.
Mom noted that I was always this way on my birthday, always loved the day as a kid, got out of bed expecting good things to happen, and she’s right. Most of this is probably because I was the only one in the family with a summer birthday, and summers were generally good times anyway. It was a good excuse for a party, for a barbecue and swimming, and so My Birthday got capital letters, at least as far as I was concerned.
And yesterday was no exception, if a little heightened. I’d scheduled a mini-vacation, my only obligation being to happiness, and the weather (as it always does in late July, except when it doesn’t) played along. Spectacular, sunny and 75, jumpstarting my day. I took a walk with John at 7 a.m., another one solo, wandered around Whole Foods with Julie, and watched “Galaxy Quest” with some pretty alarming pizza and ice cream.
You could tie a bow around this one, in other words. And while I’ve never lost a little bit of superstition about this day, a little suspicion that Good Things will always happen, that luck will come my way, that I should buy a lottery ticket (forgot), that this is the sort of day when the “service engine soon” light comes on in the car and you take it to the dealer and the only thing wrong is that the “service engine soon” light has a short, when the Birthday Stork comes in the night and leaves you a bag full of Arby’s coupons, a day that the Lord has made and the stars have aligned for and the high pressure systems plan on, when the squirrels smile at me and the crows take the day off, mostly it’s just being alive. Alive, relatively well, relatively happy, home with my family, free time, good food, and not done yet. That’s a birthday, my friends. Never give up, never surrender. Wait ‘til next year, too.
(Celebrating my 12th)