We just celebrated my granddaughter Kori's first birthday. It was a perfect celebration for a little girl.
There was a perfect sized swimming pool for a one year old, a fancy sprinkler for her older cousin and friends to run through, and a miniature pony named Pedro to carry everyone around in the back yard. Kori's mama even took a turn.
Kori loved the balloons and the cake and the presents. And the adults enjoyed the grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and chicken. We all had a wonderful time celebrating our little girl's birthday.
My wife threw a great party!
Last week I had the privilege of celebrating some birthdays with some other children as well. I was in Jackrabbit, Ariz., at the mission I work with throughout the year.
My "Navajo grandson," Jacob, turned 7. He is the adopted son of the mission director, Linda Thompson. He has called me grandpa for most of his young life.
Another little girl at NAOMI celebrated a different type of birthday. Tyra was adopted by a staff couple that she has lived with for the last several years. Her adoption was finalized the day before we arrived in Jackrabbit. Tyra became a Baker.
Happy Birthday to all of you! Kori, Jacob and Tyra.
For most of us celebrating a birthday is something we look forward to every year, especially for children.
We remember fondly the day that child came into our world and changed our hearts forever. That really is something to celebrate.
I remember when my children invaded this world: Gabe was born to us in Louisville, Ky.; Michael was born to us in Lansing, Mich.; and Laura was born to us several years later in Lansing as well.
I remember those events; the delivery room for Gabe, and the birthing rooms for Michael and Laura; My in-laws waiting with us; friends waiting with us; and I remember the active role that Lynn had in all of those birthdays too. She played a very important part, and she was stellar. She shined!
She will be celebrating a milestone birthday this year, and I want to celebrate with her in style. We will celebrate with family, with friends, and with friends who are like family.
Some people think of birthdays as just another day; some think of them as something to dread; and others try not to think about them at all.
Jack Benny said, "Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
Some people want to stay young forever. Ponce de Leon landed on the east coast of what is now known as Florida in quest of a fountain containing magical waters that once ingested would keep you young. It's been called "The Fountain of Youth."
Lucille Ball said, "The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age."
Personally, I have enjoyed getting older. Along with age comes a little bit of wisdom, a little bit of common sense, and a deep realization that I have a whole lot to learn.
If today happens to be your birthday, "Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, God bless you! Happy birthday to you!"
-- Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.