Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Today, February 10th, is my 51st birthday. No big deal.

Though I certainly enjoy the well wishes I have received, and the extra nice birthday meal, it’s funny how the excitement of birthdays diminishes with age. When I was a kid I looked forward so much to February and my special day. I also shared a birthday with my beloved grandmother, Nonna Antonia, and I never minded dividing the attention with her. I thought it was kind of neat to have the same birthday as my nonna. Here is a picture of a typical celebration, when I turned three and she turned fifty-eight. There I am standing on a chair between nonna and my beautiful mother, with everyone else either looking into the camera or drooling over my mother’s strawberry shortcake, which was something to die for!

In addition to enjoying my birthday as a child, I also looked forward to February for the hope of a good blizzard or two that might get me out of school. Now it seems that if it snows at all, it’s only enough to get my kids out of school but not enough to shut down the federal government (my beloved employer), so what good is that? For that and other reasons (also related to age) I have come to have little use for February’s cold, short and dark days. And with birthdays not as exciting as they used to be, the month has little or no redeeming social value. (Okay, the romantic side of me still enjoys Valentine’s Day.) I have heard (though I am not sure it is true) that the ancient Romans left January and February off of their calendar because they would just as soon not acknowledge these otherwise dreary and entirely forgettable months.

Don’t get me wrong. Life is good and every day is a blessing. But I’m more than ready for spring.

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