Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Birth Daze

Well the big day is almost here. I am about to turn the BIG 40. Not to worry though according to the books at Barnes and Nobles. It is still possible to run safely after reaching 40. As I see all the titles that make this promise, I find myself wondering whether there were any dinosaurs who wrote books on how to survive climate change or the coming meteor showers. As if on cue, like an appliance whose warranty has just expired, I am starting to get all sorts of muscular aches and pains which I never got before. A self fulfilling prophecy, you suggest, due to all my worrying? Perhaps, but I have been thinking a lot about this day and birthdays in general.

Monday was July 4th, America's 235th birthday. I set off with four friends and my teenage son (a 5th friend? sometimes, perhaps) on a 36 mile bike ride to Ground Zero. Biking, as will know if you read this blog, has lately played the role of mistress to my long time steady of running. Although I remain a committed runner, anything that creates a common bond between my son and I, and allows us to spend six hours together is good in my book. Rob, who leads our local cycling posse, thought that a trip to Ground Zero would be a good way to mark the 4th. (We even crossed the George Washington bridge; situated right near where the first president fled the British during revolutionary days). It seemed like a more cerebral and meaningful way to mark the occasion than watching someone gauge themselves on hot dogs; whether at the Nathan's contest or at a family BBQ.

Later that night, Yehuda and I (wow all that togetherness time- We must be do for a fight) started driving towards NYC to see the Macy's fireworks. For once, it felt good to sit in traffic heading towards the Lincoln Tunnel, as it afforded us a good view of the show. We listened to the accompanying music on the radio and all had a really nice time. Happy Birthday America.

Of course there is another birthday we are waiting for, in the truest sense of the term. We are waiting to see when the newest member of our family will arrive. As I have pointed out before, if you can't go out and buy a sports car as part of a 40th birthday driven midlife crisis, a new baby is a good second choice to make. The baby is due the day after my birthday but I must admit that I think it would be cool to share a birthday with the newest member of the clan. Either way, we are looking forward to meeting the little tyke, who will be the ninth member of our family baseball team. It occurs to me that I am around the same age that my dad OB"M was when his last child, my sister was born. I hope I will have as close a relationship with our child as my dad did with his, minus the high credit card bills of course.

Although it will soon be my party, and I can cry if I want to, I have no plan for any tears. Unless of course there's a birth on my birthday. In that case, all bets are off.