That would be my youngest son, Mike, featured here along with his children and guess who in the last photo in the group.
Today Mike is celebrating his 13th birthday! He has said he plans to act like a “terrible teen” now that he has double digit Feb. 29’s under his belt. He wasn’t sure he could pull it off until I told him he has been practicing for it his entire life.
According to this morning’s local paper he is one of 187,000 Americans with this birthday, and approximately four million worldwide. The worldwide number is not completely accurate since many countries don’t have an accurate count of the people living there or of their birth records. Still an impressively small number of people in comparison to the world population!
People are always asking when we celebrated his birthday over the years. It was very easy when he was young. His sister was born on March 7, his brother on Feb. 22, so all three had birthdays within a two week timetable and we would have one celebration for all three of them, with a “humdinger”, as his dad called it on Leap Year. This lasted until they all were in school and discovered their classmates each had a party of their own. No sharing with siblings? Unheard of in our home. Until that fateful day they each entered first grade at St. Mary of the Woods school in Whitesville, KY. Each of their classmates had a birthday cake of their own I was told. None of them had to share with a brother and sister or two brothers! I briefly considered home schooling but when factoring in certain facts — they had already found out this one most important thing about birthdays, they were at that time the only kids their age on our road and needed some others to play with, and most important to me — I had discovered the joys of taking a long hot bath without the door rattling and a kid saying they had to talk to me NOW! So I baked a cake each week during our short birthday season. Everyone wants dessert anyway and cakes are still easier to bake than cookies or pies.
My kids all had Ms. Evans as first grade teacher. Gina was first, intelligent and eager to learn, then Don, a little bit shy at first, intelligent and eager to learn (this according to our first parent-teacher interviews). Ms. Evans was shaking her head when I went in for Mike. She only said “he’s not like the other two, is he?” I had to laugh as I asked her how long it took her to discover this fact. Mike always thought that many kids in a room meant only one thing —PARTY!
I don’t mean to imply that Mike isn’t and wasn’t then intelligent. He just didn’t like being penned up inside a classroom all day. This is a kid who was working on tractor engines by the age of 4, usually under his Uncle Marvin’s supervision. He is more hands on than book smart, something as important in running anything as the college degrees. Could be more important actually. A degree doesn’t necessarily mean a person can fix something, just that they supposedly have the words to write the manuals — I think. I don’t have a degree either, just sometimes have problems understanding my sibs who all have those little things. We all have our place in this world.
Okay, not going to debate the qualities behind each of them here. Just going to paraphrase a quote by a friend at one time: “God made worker bees as well as the Queen Bee and He deserves to experience them both!” (The original quote was comparison between crows and canaries).
Okay, I’ve erased this twice now by resting my wrist in the wrong place so I’m gonna quit while hopefully still ahead here! A.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE!