Family Magazine

Happy Birthday, Brandon!

By Sherwoods
Happy Birthday, Brandon!
This week Brandon had a birthday.  Birthdays get a lot less personally exciting as an adult.  Getting older isn't as great as it used to be, your presents are often bought with your own money, and often you have to work on your birthday.  Also, the parades still aren't happening.
This year, despite the embassy being on telework status, Brandon again had to work on his birthday.  His section is on a rotational basis, and it was his turn to be in the office this past week.  And to add insult to injury, he also had to begin his rotation as duty officer on his birthday. 
So we decided to celebrate his birthday on the weekend.  Because when you're an adult, you can change your birthday if you want to.  After all, it's more of a guideline anyway. 
However, everyone couldn't wait until the weekend do acknowledge Brandon's day.  The children all headed down to the store together, pooled their allowance, and bought him some of his favorite treats.  On a whim, I picked up lunch and took it to the embassy where we ate it together.  It turns out that even if you declare your birthday to be on a new day, people still can't help but do something on the actual day anyway. 
This weekend we stretched the celebrations out over two days by letting Brandon choose all of the food and entertainment.  For his activity, we stayed home.  Because, 1. there still aren't any fun things open, and 2. Brandon always choses to stay home.  He's been having his birthday choice for the past three months and he's still not sick of it.  It's good to get what you want in the middle of a pandemic.
When Brandon came home from work on his actual birthday, the children eagerly lined up in front of him with their gifts, excited to show him what they had bought for his birthday.  As I watched them wiggle with the excitement of giving something special to their dad, I remembered again how special Brandon is to everyone in our family.
The children all eagerly await his homecoming every evening, jumping up with excitement when they hear the front door slam followed by his foot steps in the hallway.  They love to hear him tell stories from his childhood, or discuss history, or read them a story.  William and Eleanor can always be sure that they can wheedle a swinging session out of him when I've refused their entreaties to be pushed in the swing.  And at the end of a long day, when it is finally time to rest, he loves to tickle and bounce Elizabeth after her nightly feeding while I talk his ear off about all the thousand little things that have passed through my head that day.  Brandon is the light of our family.  Everyone is happier when he is around, most especially me.
And so we're happy to celebrate Brandon's birthday.  After all he does for us, every single day of the year, we're happy to have one day a year (or two or three) when we can help him feel loved and appreciated.  Happy Birthday, Brandon!

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