Birthdays are bittersweet.
I love watching children who express utter delight at the attention and excitement on their own birthdays. I observed this with my grandson at his second birthday a few months ago. We dimmed the lights to show off the cake and its bright candles. William was focused on the cake and the lights and his mom helped him blow out the candles. Will clapped for himself, totally engaged in the moment.
I doubt if I did the same thing at his age. When I was two, I was one of two children. Mike, my older brother was five years old at the time. He had been diagnosed earlier that year before as ‘profoundly retarded’ (using the parlance of the time) and autistic. Autism had just been added to the diagnosis manual. I can’t imagine myself expressing utter delight at much of anything at that time.
Was I ever utterly delighted at age two? I can’t check this out with my mother any more since she died in February. There are very few, people left (if any) who knew me when I was two years old, so I suppose that whatever I say happened back then, happened. Photographs might be able to refute this, but I contend that photographs do not always tell the truth. Videos or, in my case, 8mm home movies might be a bit more truthful, but even if I could locate them I could not watch them without jumping through technical hoops.
I am 63 years old today. Mom died in February so this is the first year that I wont be getting a happy birthday call from her. That makes me sad. I’m sure this sounds ridiculous. It does to me. Perhaps it is time for distraction. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. It is difficult to be distracted however, on one’s birthday.
This is me at age 3. I couldn’t find any birthday party pictures.