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Nashville – August 31, 2016


Susan Roethemeyer


Recently I celebrated another birthday.

It was nice: lunch at a restaurant, birthday greetings on my facebook page, greetings on the phone, and a restful evening.

It eventually got me thinking about what birthdays mean to people.

As a kid, you look forward to an exciting birthday with a great party – juggling clowns, mystifying magicians, pony rides, lots of cake with thick butter cream icing,tons of ice cream in your favorite flavor, treat bags with small toys and candies.

Often it is more simple – a pool party, a small party at the child’s house with ice cream and homemade cake with some presents and maybe pin the tail on the donkey.

An economically challenged parent has to be more creative – a dinner out and a small gift. One small boy was satisfied with dinner at McDonald’s and a balloon, because his mom made it exciting for him.

Older kids – teens and tweens – may deny any interest in a birthday celebration, but they always want an acknowledgment. Maybe a cake and gift, or a special trip to the zoo.

Now adults may celebrate by going to dinner with their friends and partying. More than one dinner, maybe- a sedate dinner with family, and a rowdy dinner with friends.

The older you get, though, the less a birthday means to you.

That has been my experience.

People tell me “Happy Birthday,” sing the song, and I feel good for being noticed, for their acknowledging my being on this Earth for one more year.

But what is more important than being noticed on a birthday is treating others (and being treated by others) kindly all year long.

A lot of people know this and try to live up to it, even if they fail a little on occasion.

What is most important is that people keep trying to be kind.