(5 minute read)
How did you spend your golden birthday? Was it a lucky year for you? I asked myself these questions today as I sent birthday wishes to my son. He is turning 26 on the 26th, which is known as the “Golden Birthday!” This only comes around once in a lifetime. Urban Dictionary defines it as “the day where a human being turns the same age as the date to which they were born.” Everyone (except Leap Year babies) experiences this special golden birthday. Some refer to it as the champagne birthday. Do you remember yours? Maybe you were turning two (like my sister) and have no recollection of the day or even the year. You missed it. But chances are you have a child who will be celebrating a golden birthday and you can make their lucky day special. Taking it a little further, I like to think that more than just the day, it is the year of the golden birthday than can be one to remember.
I was born on July 28th. While my memory is a bit foggy of how I celebrated by golden birthday turning 28 years old, I do remember that year well. That was my first year of motherhood. It was 1993. We were living in southern California with Janet and Paula, our Shih Tzus named after the pop music stars Janet Jackson and Paula Abduhl. We were navigating early parenthood with a five month old baby. He was probably sleeping through the night for the first time (hopefully). That year was a pivotal time in my life, transitioning from working outside the home as a school teacher to staying home full time with the baby. When I think back to that year I remember being exhausted caring for one child. I kept the house totally silent when he was napping. I had to tip toe out of the nursery after setting him ever so gently down in his crib swaddled like a burrito. Sometimes I did not even make it to the hall before he startled and cried out. Then I’d scoop him back up and walk back out to the recliner and let him sleep in my arms on my chest. I watched All My Children and talk shows at soft volume while he got the naps he needed. It was difficult for me to get anything done. By the time my husband returned home after working all day at the office, I could not wait to pass him the baby and grab a shower. I laugh now at my 28 year old “tired-with-one-baby-self.” Who knew that in a few short years I would be mothering four children under the age of eight. That golden year I not only grew in my confidence as a mother, but I loved it so much we got pregnant right around our son’s first birthday. It was definitely a lucky year after turning 28 on the 28th.
When I think about the golden birthdays of my family I can see something special in each one of their lucky years, even if it is something small. In 2017 our youngest son turned 18 on the 18th and he was celebrated by a great group of friends at our cabin. During his 18th year we added two aussie-doodle puppies, Koda and Summer (which also sprung the Grizzlybearma blog). Our St. Patricks day baby, who just celebrated his 30th birthday a few weeks ago, was a junior in high school on his golden birthday. I remember feeling grateful for a room full of well wishing teenagers that he met through theater classes after moving to Virginia the previous summer. A lucky birthday indeed! Our daughter born on December 27 turned 27 in 2022, had a most wonderful golden year. She got married and moved into her dream home. Our son whose golden birthday is today is 26. All weekend he has been celebrating with his sweet girlfriend and his friends. Who knows what this next year of life will bring his way?
My husband’s golden birthday was when he turned 13. I have no idea what he did to celebrate in 1976. Maybe he went to the movie theater to see “Rocky.” Maybe he went to Tower Records and bought the new Kiss album “Destroyer” or ACDC “High Voltage.” It is fun to picture him at 13, especially since his next birthday is a big one. He turns 60, his Diamond Birthday. But guess what his birthday will be in three years? It will be his Platinum birthday, which is when the last two numbers of your birth year match the year you are turning.
Gold, Diamond, or Platinum, whenever we put another candle on the cake we can consider ourselves lucky! I want to wish our son, Jack, a happy 26th birthday! Happy Golden Birthday! (Jack is pictured below in the lucky gold helmets…when Wake Forest beat NC State)
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I am tired of the rain. Looking forward to a warm summer.