When I lived in Philadelphia in 1990, I was a nanny for a suburban family with two children, ages two and four. Their mother was a pediatrician, and when she came home from her clinic one October afternoon, the four-year old boy became very giggly and excited. He ushered me down to the basement, instructing me not to come upstairs until I was told to do so. I could hear him and his mother in the kitchen stirring about, and in a few minutes, he came downstairs to get me with a big grin on his face.
I came up with him, and his mother and sister were waiting in the kitchen with grins on their faces as well. There were cupcakes on the table, and there were candles in each of them. They began singing “Happy Birthday” to me, still grinning.
Except that it wasn’t my birthday. And he knew that. They all knew that.
“He said he wanted to have a birthday party for you today,” his mother said after the singing. “So we are having a birthday party for you!” And they did. And it was a wonderful, thoughtful surprise.
What he didn’t know–none of them realized this, I’m sure, is that it was exactly my half-birthday. It was October 17th. My birthday is April 17th.
This gesture inspired me to create a birthday gift-giving tradition for the children in my life after I returned home: instead of giving them a gift on their birthdays, I would treat them on their half-birthday. I reasoned that they received a bounty of gifts on their actual birthdays, so a mid-year gift would be a welcome surprise, and it usually was.
I don’t know why, but somewhere along the way, I abandoned that tradition. I still make a mental note of my half-birthday every October, and fondly recall that surprise birthday party for my 23 1/2 birthday.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. We typically celebrate it at Gail’s house, and we take our annual sister picture in her favorite space, Camp Gail. These are the five pictures posted at the beginning of each blog. However, the last two Thanksgivings were dampened by COVID. There was some celebrating both years; we did the best we could. It has already been six months since Thanksgiving; that date was May 25th, almost two weeks ago. However, it’s never too late to offer gratitude. It’s never too early, either. Which is precisely why I am offering an advance thank you to you, dear reader: in just eleven days, I will celebrate my fifth anniversary as a blogger. My maiden post was on June 16th, 2017.
I want to offer my sincere and deep gratitude for each and every one of you who has ever read one or each and every one of my blogs, or anywhere in between. This one marks post #172. Without each of you, I wouldn’t have kept going. I cannot formulate words to express how much I appreciate each and every one of you, and for your positive feedback and encouragement you have given me in the last (almost) five years.
Thank you doesn’t seem like enough, so I will add a montage of some of our most memorable blog pictures from the last five years of posts. I have said it so many times before, but I will say it again:
I am so thankful for my sisters.
Happy Half-Thanksgiving to you. May every day be filled with gratitude.