Birthdays are a funny thing. They occur throughout our lives and there is no surprise that each person has one every year on the exact same day. And yet, people have varied reactions to them.

To a child, his or her birthday is a very special day indeed. Presents, cake, friends, perhaps a favorite dinner – all of these make for a day to look forward to. Turning a year older is a wondrous thing for a child. And what adult doesn’t love visiting Chuck E. Cheese for a kid’s arcade-style celebration? Well, I jest on that last point. Big time! But the kiddos love it.

The next big birthday is turning 16. The magical age of driving and freedom to teenagers. The magical age of increased insurance rates and worry to their parents. Then comes 18. Legal to vote, join the military, get married, sign contracts, just about everything. Except indulge in an alcoholic beverage, which comes at age 21. Not sure I understand the disparity there, but it is what it is.

When my brother-in-law turned 55, my sister told me that he was so looking forward to now being eligible for senior discounts. In fact, she wasn’t even planning to make him a special birthday dinner. He couldn’t wait to dine out and receive a 10 percent price break on his birthday meal, so that’s what they were going to do. Apparently getting older comes with a cash reward!

Sometimes people who are hitting an older milestone birthday will celebrate by checking off something substantial from their bucket list. We’ve all heard about the 90-year-old who celebrates his big day by parachuting out of an airplane. Personally, I would find it difficult to jump out of an airplane that is working perfectly fine. But hey, to each his own. That’s the beauty of birthdays – different strokes for different folks.

And then there are the birthday desserts. Cake is the front runner, of course. But I know folks who prefer a pie to celebrate their big day. And one friend even asks for a plate of chocolate chip cookies. They all sound quite delicious to me!

In 2020, aka the lost year, there were many drive-by birthdays. I participated in several in our neighborhood here in Zion Crossroads. The happiness and joy on people’s  faces was a sight to behold. Everyone was so starved for interaction with others, and this was a safe and fun way to get together for a bit.

I know having too many birthdays can be viewed as a bummer. But I say, getting older is a privilege! And certainly much better than the alternative. So, enjoy your special day, dear readers!

Laura Schupp resides in Zion Crossroads with her husband Rick and two cats.  She would love to hear from you at


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