Do you know what a "Golden" Birthday is? I didn't, until Jack and Margaret told me. It's the special birthday when your age and the day you were born match up. So my golden birthday would have been when I turned 6 on the 6th of October, way back in 1975.
Not that I would have known that.
Golden birthdays, half birthdays and the like were not celebrated in the 70's and 80's when I grew up. I was lucky to have my mom toss creamsicles to my friends and me on the front lawn after school on my birthday. That was our idea of whooping it up.
It was fun to consider that both of my kids' Golden Birthdays would take place when they were teenagers, because they were born on the 18th and 17th, respectively. I LOVE TEENAGERS, most likely because my mom loved teenagers, and getting a kick out of Jack and Margaret at that age is something I'd anticipated since the days they were born.
As the calendar turns from February to March, we are just a couple of weeks away from Jack's Golden Birthday. He would be turning 18 on March 18th. 18 feels significant. 18 feels heavy. It's also on a Saturday again, which Jack would have LOVED. He found birthdays on school days a drag.
Grievers approach birthdays differently, from making our loved one's favorite meals, baking special cakes, running in races, gathering with friends, or even hiding under the covers. I've done a variety of these since Jack died. Last year was really hard. We are not sure what we will do this year, but I know 18 feels big, golden birthday or not.
Two weeks after that, we'll celebrate Andrew's 1st birthday. In the age of Pinterest, I wonder how his birthday will differ from the simple celebrations we had when Jack and Margaret were little. We'll see.
As my mother used to say, "Life is a very strange time."
I didn't know what that meant, but I figured I'd know it when I saw it. Now I see it. Life is a very strange time. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it's golden. Sometimes it's both at once.