“Happy Birthday to Me!”
It’s true, we are still in the land of Charlie Brown Birthday Fun for our little guy. Ben decided on the Charlie Brown theme just days before his birthday and while I wondered how I would pull together something like that, I was all for it because it seemed he had finally grasped the concept of birthdays and the celebrations which surround them.
How appropriate then, that Charlie Brown sort of popped up a couple of times on his birthday. While sitting in church that morning, we noticed Charlie Brown and Sally in a comic strip up on the wall at the beginning of the morning message. Later that day, we were met with another Charlie Brown comic. This one felt like a direct message from our maker himself.
We had spent the morning together as a family, worshipping in church as we typically do on a Sunday. Our older kids had post-church commitments, so in our haste to get everyone where they needed to be, we headed to our favorite Sunday lunch hangout, the local Dairy Queen, perfect for our chicken and fries loving birthday boy. But something happened to flip the switch from happy to anxious, and the food couldn’t come fast enough. Ben struggled to pull it together for a happy lunch, but we did enjoy the time together, made better by laughter with some neighbors who also happened to be having lunch there as well. We made it home in time for cake, candles, presents and getting the older kids where they needed to be.
Ben and his younger sister were settled into an activity, so I began to scroll through facebook and reminisce birthdays past as I scrolled through old photos. Then, I came across the second Charlie Brown comic: Charlie Brown and Snoopy walking together in the rain. Charlie Brown carried an umbrella while Snoopy was shielded by his doghouse, balanced on his head while he walked. The text read, “Life isn’t meant to be easy, it’s meant to be Lived. Sometimes happy, other times rough… but with every up and down you learn lessons that make you Strong.”
I couldn’t agree more. We had a happy morning. We had a rough lunch. We had a happy afternoon. This is the recipe for ups and downs for sure. The lesson this day was that sometimes we just have to take a minute to regroup and refocus. Just a moment or two is all it takes. It may not be an instant fix, but it works in the long run. Perseverance pays off.
We celebrated our Ben and all that plays into the magnificent creation he is this weekend with our extended family. It got me thinking back to our conversation prior to his birthday, the one in which he told me he would be 10, but was quick to agree that 7 is just fine.
Ben with his Charlie Brown birthday cake, making a wish while we sing Happy Birthday to him.
Our very happy birthday boy with his very own DVD library of It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!, Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Charlie Brown Christmas.
Perhaps the best part is that on his birthday, he remembered his age and did not need to be reminded. He understood his answer was wrong, accepted the right answer, and remembered it for future use. Perhaps it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. After all, he’s in the first grade. How often will he be asked and expected to answer this question before the answer changes? And how big of a deal is it if he either doesn’t know the answer or simply chooses to disregard the question all together. To me, it was much more than being able to say he is 7. To me, it showed the possibility of and potential for learning, and that makes for a very happy up moment.