My thirty-third birthday is tomorrow. According to my mom, I was born at 10:21 a.m. in Metairie – a suburb of New Orleans – in a place once called Lakeside Hospital. I know this because, every year, she calls me precisely at 10:21 a.m. – just to sing me a bar of the “Happy Birthday” song. I must admit that, despite the fact that I’m in my thirties, I have yet to tire of this tradition. Actually, I find it kind of sweet.
Still, I have mixed feelings about birthdays. (Of course, who past the age of twenty-one doesn’t?) As each year passes, I’m often forced to reconsider my goals, to once again reassess my dream of being a published novelist, and to make the sad realization that I’m not much closer to achieving it than I was a year ago.
But life isn’t about such lofty ambitions. It’s about all the little moments – the memorable experiences that fill each day – and today was filled with plenty. Dan and I drove from New Orleans to Baton Rouge to spend the morning with my teeny-tiny grandmother and the afternoon with my mom. Following a Thanksgiving-like lunch at mom’s house (complete with smoked ham, cranberry sauce, spinach casserole, potato salad, and pumpkin pie), Mom, Dan, and I saw the 3-D presentation of A Christmas Carol, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And then, as with any birthday weekend in my family, more food was involved.
So, despite my misgivings about getting older, I’m grateful for what I have: a loving family, good friends, and an awesome kitty (who was in fact last year’s birthday “present”). Besides, it just so happens that I was born on Mark Twain’s birthday – which I like to consider a positive omen that my fiction-writing dreams will someday come true. Hey, whatever works, right?
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