July is always a favorite month because of birthdays.
For some reason when you are a little kid, birthdays seem to take forever and then when you get older they seem to come so fast you feel like you just had one. Making it one more time around the sun is truly a miracle for us all, as we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
Birthdays this year have certainly looked different over the past five months, and at the rate we are going, it will be a long time before parties of any kind seem normal again.
This past week the Wizard turned six years old. It was a staunch realization for him earlier in the week when he discovered that his age no longer fit on one hand. He now had to use to hands to tell everyone how old he was. I wanted to tell him that one day his age will need multiple hands to tell his true age, but I didn’t want to suck all the fun out of a birthday.
While we are many, many, many years apart, both of us celebrate birthdays in July – just eight days between them. Which means that every July for a long time will be filled with double the birthday cake and ice cream – which both the Wizard and I are perfectly happy about.
I remember when I turned six years old. Kindergarten had just ended a few months prior and my friendships with everyone I knew was just getting started. My childhood friend Megan and I are one day apart (she is older by almost 12 hours.) Our parents threw us a joint sixth birthday party at the Jasper Park. We had matching airbrushed Barney the Dinosaur shirts. Barney held three balloons on each shirt and when combined it made six balloons. We had matching dark purple shorts and tennis shoes. A giant birthday cake with purple icing. And best of all, our classmates came to play that day, eat cake and ice cream and open presents with us. Our kindergarten teacher even showed up, and that in my opinion that was the absolute best part of the entire party. I can’t tell you anything about the gifts we received, or the conversations our parents had, but I do remember the cake and, thanks to photographs, those airbrushed shirts.
Birthdays have always been a magical time and mean so much more the older you get. It is not about the presents or the cake, but about the memories you get to make with those you love. As my mom would say, “When you get to be my age you are just thankful for another year.”
Here’s to all you July babies – eat your cake, sleep in late, enjoy your day making it around the sun for another year. The best is always yet to come.
Laura Pitts is a former Daily Mountain Eagle reporter. She currently serves as director of the Scottsboro Public Library.