Sherry Young: Birthdays are special days no matter the age

Published: Monday, Oct. 10 2011 4:39 p.m. MDT

It makes me feel old to write this, and I don't know how it can possibly be true as I am still only 39, but my son, Steve Young, turned 50 today, Oct. 11.

It's hard to believe. Famous or not, you still get old.

And I bet you thought Donny Osmond was still around 40. He even has Steve beat by a few years.

Time flies.

Steve's next younger brother, Mike, turns 48 today as well.

Remember now, Steve and Mike were born in the days when babies came when they came and those two chose to come on the very same day — highly unusual.

It's their BYU coach LaVell Edwards' birthday today, too. He wouldn't tell me how old he is, but I wished him happy birthday anyway.

Busy day.

But not as busy a day as it used to be.

The day of Steve's second birthday I recall taking him to choose his birthday present at a toy store worried I wouldn't make it out without delivering right there by the sand trucks, which was what he finally picked.

After Mike was born the fun began — holding two birthday parties on the same day, one in the front yard and one in the back yard.

One year I had Mike's party going in the back yard with games and races while my husband, Grit, took all Steve's friends down the street to North Mianus School.

The game consisted of Grit throwing a tennis ball up in the air and calling out a number. The highest balls were worth about 25 cents. A lower one would be worth 10 cents and the kid who caught it would get the money.

It was a great hit with the partiers, as they didn't want to stop.

The party ended when Grit just couldn't throw the ball anymore.

As I recall, all the kids loved our low-key parties because that was what birthday parties were like back then, a few crepe paper streamers, some games, and cake and ice cream.

As with everything else times have changed. Kids today would think them about the dumbest birthday parties ever. No bounce house, paint ball, laser tag or even Chuck E. Cheese.

Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey is not in their memory bank.

Last year in Phoenix, we were chaperones at our grandson Jake's 12th birthday party. We were recruited to help because between church, school, neighborhood and sports team friends, plus some girls, of course, he ended up inviting 48 kids. The family was about to move, so this was his last hurrah in the area.

The party was held at a skating rink on a hot Arizona day, which made it a good place to monitor a crowd since it was nicer inside than outside.

Admittedly, those pre-teens had a wonderful time. It's likely parents today are just trying to make a moment stand out for their child.

If you can afford it, why not hit Chuck E Cheese or an ice rink? Safe place, no cleanup and if you like pizza it's perfect — but not every year.

Also, if it's trying to one-up your friends and neighbors, you may be sending out the wrong message to your kids.

Birthdays are special days no matter the age. Each one is important, and though others share the day, it is still uniquely ours.

Even as mine ratchet up, it touches me when people send a birthday card or call — makes me feel loved and remembered. I've no doubt you feel the same.

Happy birthday, Steve, Mike and LaVell and anyone else who shares this day. May you have many, many more.

Email: sasyoung2@aol.com

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