Parked at Hobby Lobby, I turned to my almost two-year-old daughter and said, We’re here! Would you like to pick out party hats for your birthday party?
Party hats! She screamed as she double fisted her hands in the air and begged me to take her out of her car seat, right now!
Placing my daughter in front of the cart, I sped to the party aisle. Five items were on my list and I wanted to be in, out, and on our way home in record time. Ava, on the other hand, had a different agenda. Her agenda was to socialize. And socialize she did. I promise you that not one person left Hobby Lobby that morning without knowing that it was her birthday, she was turning two, and party hats would be worn at her birthday party.
I thought about hushing her, apologizing to the people who seemed annoyed at her enthusiasm, or simply grabbing only the party hats and bee lining it to the checkout line. But instead, I got my five items and then proceeded to walk down every single aisle just for fun. Why? Because birthdays are meant to be celebrated.
The book, I Want Two Birthdays, by Tony Ross, is one all kids can relate to because the main character, Little Princess, longs to have more than one birthday. The prime minister allows her to have one birthday put on the calendar but Little Princess keeps asking for more and more until it is her birthday every day! Through this hilarious read, kids come to understand that only having one birthday a year is what makes the day of your birth special.
As adults, we don’t look forward to birthdays like we did in our youth. In fact, we often dread them. Birthdays mean being another year older and being older means wrinkles, sore knees, loss of metabolism, and gray hair.
I am knocking on the door of the 30-year-milestone. However, I’m not dreading it. In fact, like Ava, (except, maybe not to that degree) I am looking forward to it. Let me tell you why:
- A birthday means I have had one more year to be a wife to my husband, Nicholas
- A birthday means I have had one more year to be a mom to my daughter, Ava
- A birthday means I have had one more year to be a daughter, granddaughter, auntie, and above all, a follower of Christ.
Birthdays are not only a time to reflect on all we have been given. They are also a time to ponder what we want the following year to look like. What if instead of sighing when our birthday approached we smiled knowing that we have been given another year.
- Another year to apologize to someone we have wronged.
- Another year to love our neighbors.
- Another year to join that Bible study, register for that online course, or attempt that heirloom recipe.
- Another year to write that book, make that phone call, or sign up to volunteer.
- Another year to love on our families and another year to be the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth.
Why are we dreading a day that is such a gift from God? Together, Let’s encourage each other to wear that party hat because birthdays are meant to be celebrated.