Today is my 49 birthday. A little over a year ago I had my doubts that I'd make it this far. Now I realize that was only fear.
My children and my wife showered me with chocolate, books and clothes this morning, and I think we're going to see Avatar.
I've never been big on the birthday thing. Before I got married I kind of always disappeared. I've always been somewhat of a loner. Even after 13 years of marriage it is still hard for me to get used to it. It is amazing how we as children can be psychologically scarred for life. My father, who was once mad at me and in fury took away my gifts right before my birthday or Christmas. I can't remember which. He dragged out a little red tool box out of the closet that they were going to give me and said, "See this, this is mine now." The other gifts came out and went away just the same. I have never quite gotten over that.
I am still not used to it, but as the children get older and their want for celebration gets more enthusiastic each year I cannot help but smile. They are pivotal in coaxing out the little boy in their father. Sometimes I am stunned by their actions when they do something that brings tears of joy to my face.I look forward to the many years ahead, and while I don't want to live to be a 100, I want to see them date and go to college and walk them down a rose-strewn sheet of pedals. I want to hold grandchildren and watch them laugh and play. I want to shower them with gifts.