We’ve been celebrating Collin’s birthday for an entire week now. No kidding. His actual birthday was Monday: breakfast in bed, special snacks at school (prepared and delivered by Michelle and Elsa), a special dinner with four foods of his choice (frozen pizza, hot dogs, hummus with feta cheese and tomatoes), and then dessert out at Maple Street where he got an apple dumpling the size of his head. That’s quite a birthday and it was well celebrated. But it wasn’t over.
Tuesday came: excitement all day about the party after dinner, a special dinner that Collin loved of cheese tortellini, and then the party that night with both sides of our family and presents and cake and ice cream and old people trying to play the Wii. It was glorious; especially the old people trying to play the Wii. And Collin even received two custom made gift certificates: one from Matthew, Kortni and Owen saying they will take Collin out for a night of bowling, and another from Michelle, Elsa and me saying that we’ll take him for a day out of school to go to Indianapolis for lunch with Mr. Chuck E. Cheese and then a visit to the Children’s Museum.
That trip to Indy is tomorrow. It’s the birthday that never ends!!!
I was already tired on Tuesday night but Collin wasn’t. He could keep celebrating all year. It gets old to me but he is resilient. His joy goes on longer than mine. I even got tired of watching the old people trying to figure out when to release the B button on the Wii control so they could bowl more smoothly instead of throwing the ball back into the Wii crowd. So I made my way out of the family room and into the living room where I would be away from the Wii bit of joy taking place.
Through the kitchen, into the dining room, turned the corner into the living room and there sat Mamaw Maxine. She’s Michelle’s great grandmother; mother to Michelle’s father. She’s 87. She has achy joints, needs help getting up sometimes, and has to put up with Papaw Bob. She also has macular degeneration, which causes you to go blind in the very center of your eye so you’re left in a very frustrating state where you can only see things in your peripheral version. She’ll never be able to look directly at anything ever again. So there sat Maxine, alone on the couch…
…wearing a princess crown.
It was one of Elsa’s but Elsa was no where in sight. Maxine couldn’t have seen her anyway. Best I could tell, no one has asked Maxine to put the crown on. She just found it there, near her on the couch, and decided it would be fun to wear. She was smiling. I asked if I could take her picture. Mamaw Maxine said yes. I tried to show it to her on the digital camera but she couldn’t see it. She said she could just imagine what she looked like in it.
I think I’ll go back to trying to have more joy; even on the days I don’t feel like it. This is my wish for you also. Try to have more joy, even when your life is a little achy. The princess crown isn’t included. You’ll have to find your own.
“A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding energy, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough… It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again,” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again,” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike: it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. ” –G.K. Chesterton