The late comedian Bob Hope perhaps wasn't being entirely hyperbolic here. After years of providing entertainment at home and abroad; his USO shows brought a little joy to troops fighting overseas; he passed away just a few months past his 100th birthday. He was a role model to many proving that it's the blessings attained over years of life to be celebrated, not the years themselves.
I don't perhaps live with the same exuberance as Hope, but I've never been intimidated by the number of candles on the cake. I've always been a firm believer that regardless of age, birthdays are exalted events. This is, after all, the day when you began.
And it's certainly not just ourselves we love to celebrate. The people close to us matter, so why wouldn't we want to pay extra attention in a thankful way to the day that they came into this world?
I never missed my parent's birthdays; I call my siblings on theirs. From their first birthday to present day I have made it my goal to find a way to celebrate with my children, to let them know more than ever how special they are to me. My husband and I have a tradition for each of our special days, a ritual that is sacrosanct, that has been followed on every birthday for the close to 40 years we've known each other.
Of course, this is not to say that some birthdays aren't a bigger deal than others. While we tend to put the most effort into milestones as we get older, the newest people to this world are the stars each and every year. The light in a little one's eyes as they spy a bouquet of colourful balloons floating magically in the air is itself enchanting. There is no more charm to be found than in a child's smile when the cake with the glow of a few candles gracing the top, comes their way. There is no better life to be celebrated than one with all of its innocence and wonder.
Today marks our beautiful little granddaughter's fourth and the weekend will be all that she deserves. She will be gifted and feted, surrounded by the love and adoration of her extended family. It will be her day and no others.
As I think of our little sunshine and her party, I'm looking forward to celebrating with her. To see such delight in simple things, to know that all that matters to her is what's making her smile at the moment, are excellent reminders that the passing years have maybe taken away some of that gratitude and joy. To refresh that memory here's a collection of photos of little birthday celebrants:
iPHOTOS.com Children's Birthday Photos
Clipart.com Children's Birthday Photos