Birthday Wishes

Today is my birthday, in memory of my mom’s hours in labor, I decided to give most the USA the day off: Labor Day.  (Forgive me, but I only get to make that joke about once in seven years…)

Friends and family often ask me what I want for my birthday, and I usually have no idea. Or rather, I have plenty of ideas, just very few that people can buy in a store.

My wife got me some desperately needed new pocket t-shirts… which I inadvertently swiped from the laundry this morning before she had gotten the chance to wrap them. And then I think my 8-year-old daughter is getting me a new pair of reading glass, since I think I need to step up a bit from these +1.25 glasses.

These are all good, but what I find myself really pining for are things like:

  • More time to write.
  • Fewer bills.
  • More book sales, or failing that, more book reviews from the sales I already made.
  • New knees, or failing that, fifty pounds less for them to be carrying around all day.
  • Better communication with my autistic son.
  • The audacity to tell a particular idol that he’s full of shit.
  • A chance to go back and do a few things differently.
  • Star Wars prequels that don’t suck.
  • One more day with my father.

Those things don’t come in a store.

But this didn’t either. I got to spend an hour today throwing paper airplanes with my 8-year-old twins. I chose a design with a heavy blunt nose, vertical stabilizers, and wing flaps that all combine to provide a lot of lift. I couldn’t quite get it to do a loop like I’d remembered it could, but they’ve been sending it around it long spiraling circles, sending it down the stairs, and having a blast. All from a few pieces of paper and one innocent little question, “Daddy, how do you make a paper airplane?”

But I’ll like the shirts and glasses, too.

[A late addendum: My daughter had been hinting all day at a “big surprise, so bright you’ll need your sunglasses!”  After the presents, I got my sunglasses as instructed, and she took me outside for the surprise.  She told me she had discovered how pretty the sunsets are by looking out her window, and she wanted to surprise me by sharing this wonderful fact with me, that sunsets are beautiful.  Wait for it…. awwwwwwww!]

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