What did you do on your birthday? I mean your real birthday; the day you were born. I imagine you popped out crying, then fell asleep, and suckled all the rest of the week.
Your mother, on the other hand, threw up, sacrificed nine months, and eventually pushed – painfully -until out you popped. So, why do we celebrate you on your birthday? According to a Seinfeld skit, you just came into existence to replace us, your parents. That’s right: from the minute you popped out into the world, you have been growing and preparing to take over.
With this in mind, you may conjecture that to be why our family doesn’t make a big to-do about birthdays. But really, it’s just because there are too many of us, thus making it too much work. If we did recognize your day with more than just a group text saying “Happy Birthday,” there would be a birthday party every other week.
When my neighbor’s daughter was young, they would have birthday week, and I get that. With Meghan, my first child, when it was just the two of us, having a birthday celebration was easy and a fun way to preoccupy ourselves with something positive.
Another type of birthday is a whole-other ball of wax. It is a person’s sober birthday. On this special day, after much pain and suffering from the celebrant, they take their last drink (really the day before) and succeed through conscious, deliberate, consorted effort to work hard and live a sober life. WOW!
That is what last week was for husband Grady; his three-year sober-birthday and it was worthy of a BIG celebration. Forgoing the alcohol, of course.
If you’ve been following this saga, you may have read my blog about leaving Grady, stranded and car-less in Orange Beach, Alabama (it’s worth reading again). Or the intervention story that his family executed at US Pizza Parlor a year later (again, worth the read).
So, what did we do to celebrate Grady’s Sober-Birthday? I gave him a small, private party, just the two of us. And the whole family? We collectively enjoyed the freedom from the burden of alcoholism.
Thank you, Grady. Happy 3rd Sober-Birthday.