As I have come to grow older birthdays have held less significance for me in terms of my age. I have long since hit all of the ages where I gain new rights and am considered more an adult (I do not count the right to rent a car and drive a recreational vehicle that I earned on my most recent birthday as milestone privileges). As a result, my birthday has meant that when people ask me how old I am, I need to remember to give a number that is one larger than the age that I had been presenting for over a year. That is until I started working here full time last March.
Something that you have done for two years in a row still counts as a tradition. Here at camp we have had a very interesting and coincidental tradition for the past two years. Two weeks ago, the outdoor recreation and retreats department at camp celebrated the camp holiday known as triple birthday for the second straight year. Through amazing luck, it just so happens that our recreational staff Rich (May 5th), Matt (April 28th), and Myself (James May 2nd) were born in the same seven day window albeit different years. As a result though, we decided last year to combine our birthdays. At first it was a logistical decision more than anything else. As our birthdays fall in Spring at the beginning of the warm part of the year camp is naturally right in the middle of its busiest retreat season. We all worked on all of our birthdays (another common trend of adulthood), so neither of us individually got to celebrate our birthdays on our birthdays. Since our schedule only permitted one real night where we could go do something nice, we decided to all go out together and have it count for all three of us. What has blossomed is a wonderful tradition where we bring friends and loved ones to eat a nice cheeseburger dinner and celebrate not just our birthdays, but also our friendship that we have cultivated through our many years at camp. While as a child I surely would have hated someone else stealing my birthday thunder, as an adult these past two birthdays have been more enjoyable than any of my other birthdays in my twenties because I got to simultaneously celebrate my own birthday as well as contribute to my good friends’ birthdays. If you have good friends who share close birthdates to you, I highly recommend trying joint birthdays. While triple birthday has not prevented me from getting any older, it sure has taken the sting of it away as we get to re-group and walk through each year of our lives together with those who are important to us.