Aww, For Me? Gee, Thanks.
Today is July 4th in this country and every other country as well, but it has a special meaning in this one. Yes, yes, yes, I know. It is Independence Day too. A truly sacred day in American history to be sure, but July 4th is also important because it is considered to be the Mid-Point of Summer.
Summer only officially started on June 21st. That was less than two weeks ago, fer cryin’ out loud. The Mid-Point of Summer? We have another month or so before we hit the real Mid-Point. Let’s try early August on for size, shall we?
July 4th has another mantle of significance about its shoulders that few people recognize or acknowledge.
July 4th is one day after July 3rd which, at least in my family is celebrated with much hoopla and fireworks. It is my birthday.
It’s not only my birthday, of course. I share that day with Tom Cruise and former big-leaguer Moises Alou. Most people know of Moises as the left fielder involved in the famous/infamous Bartman foul ball catch in Chicago a few years ago. I think young Mr. Bartman changed his name, moved to Wyoming, and grew dreadlocks after that. Non-baseball fans (all 12 of you) don’t know and don’t care about Bartman. More’s the pity.
July 3rd is also the birthday of my wife’s first husband – and his twin sister.
When I first met her, the lovely and perennially reminded, Dawn, and we chatted, both chit and idle, she casually asked me what my birthday was.
“July 3rd, every year like clockwork,” I told her innocently. You would think I had told her, “The doctor says I’m no longer infectious.”
Dawn said that she almost walked out of the room when I brought up, July 3rd.”
Since then things have mellowed about that page on the calendar. Not only does Dawn no longer wince when she sees the date approaching, she can even laugh about it She now announces that her personal ethics dictate that she only marries men born on July 3rd. After me it’s Tom Cruise. Moises Alou is out of the picture I guess.
While July 3rd may be a more immediate and personal day of celebration it pales in scope to the 4th of July. I don’t begrudge it. I don’t resent it. In my own accommodating and flexible way of thinking I look upon the 4th as a “better late than never” joining of the party for the 3rd. I claim it as mine on a delayed basis.
I look up into the sky and see the fireworks illuminating the heavens and I think, “Aww, gee folks, you shouldn’t have, but I do appreciate all the hoopla.” Fireworks, parades, picnics, and pageants – all to celebrate my birthday – and the nation’s birthday too.
So, I urge you all to get out there today and whoop it up in your own way. Down a few hot dogs, toss back a brewskie or two; eat more of the good stuff than might be advisable. Top it off with a slice of cake – Birthday cake. Both I and the nation will give a grateful nod as we share your good wishes.