I remember looking forward to 18 – legal to drive, vote, join the military. Then looking forward to 21 and legal alcohol purchase and consumption.
After 21, not many years made a difference. Sure 25 and 30 were interesting to reach as milestones, but they don’t really mark a particular relevance beyond aging. I think 35 however carried some weight as I could begin my pursuit of a presidential candidacy.
We’ll see how that works out.
But the real special birthday, the one I never knew I would care about was 36. Today. I have my three sons with me, my mom, dad and wife. It is truly an age to remember. This was the first year my three boys gave me a card and the first time my dad and I ever went fly-fishing! Wow.
Who knew I would have those milestones at 36?
I now realize that I will have many new milestones in my life. This year my oldest will go to “real” school. In 8 years he will be a teenager, and 5 more after that – I will have three boys in High School with one graduating – i’ll be 49 that year. Among those next thirteen years and beyond I can’t even pin down all the milestones that I will experience, I actually can’t even plot them out. That’s humbling.
Life is what you make of it. I now realize how each birthday marks a new year of experiences with my family. How many more birthdays will I be lucky enough to have my father with me? He turns 81 this year. How many birthdays until one of my sons is married, or has a child? All these years are unveiling before me and I cannot wait to see what they bring.
I used to look forward to my birthday, for what it meant for me. But now, they mean so much more for my boys and my family. I have a new perspective, and I got it at 36.
I need to steal away a few moments to just thank my wife, dad, mom, family, friends and most importantly my children for giving me the best birthday ever.