My grandson wakes up on his birthday as if every year is a milestone that opens new doors. “I can chew gum now because I’m four.”
“I can take a shower now instead of a bath because I’m four.”
Sadly, he still can’t use sharp scissors. “That comes,” he’s convinced, “when I’m five.” As does “real school” and a host of other things in the following years that he doesn’t even know to anticipate.
I had a birthday a few weeks ago and woke up not being able to think of a single exciting thing that comes with being 64. As I said on my Facebook update, “If there’s a redeeming feature about turning 64, it’s knowing that I’m living a Beatles’ song.”
It seems that once we pass a certain age, all the happy milestones are past and birthdays come with a lot less anticipation and celebration.
We might get a dinner out, but it’s unlikely we’ll get a piñata.
We don’t wake up saying, “Yay! I’m 64!” We’re much more likely to say, “Whoa, 64? How did that happen?”
A little time, however, brings some clarity. Three weeks in and I’ve decided that this 64th year has a few things going for it.
I didn’t wake up cheering some milestone, but I did wake up in a country that I had previously experienced only as a tourist. I get to spend my days in a place that broadens my perspective and gives me an appreciation of a history and culture that I knew little about.
I can buy authentic tacos and tamales at the neighborhood market. Mexican Cokes are a staple in my fridge. Down coats stay in the back of my closet. And no one has taken the sharp scissors away from me yet.
Next year I’m buying that piñata.