Many years ago, when J was just a toddler, I took him to consult with the Oracle who lives on the top of Mount Airy. Foreseeing that one day J would be married and have a baby, we asked the Oracle what would be the perfect arrangement of birthdays for such a family. The Oracle stroked his beard and said the birthdays should all occur together to make for a yearly super-celebration, and they should all be in the month of September because the weather is the best – neither hot and muggy, nor gray and wet. The Mom’s birthday should be first, because, of course, she is the Mom. Sept. 15 would be best, right in the middle of the month. The baby’s birthday should come next, so her special day would be bookended by her loving parents. Then the Dad’s birthday should come a few days later, which would give ample time to celebrate the beloved baby. The Oracle prophecied that this would happen for J’s family when he grew up. This story is so astonishing that it’s hard to believe, because, of course, K’s birthday was last week on Sept. 15, Baby V’s was on Sept. 16, and J’s was on Sept. 19.
This year K arranged a surprise birthday week trip to Seattle, which made for get-togethers with our Seattle extended family, Margie, Jennifer and Wynn, Greg, Jason and Hilary, and the kids. When we phoned, Margie was having a party for Baby V’s first birthday, a cause for great celebration. It is such an exciting time for everyone concerned. V has been busy mastering walking for the last couple of months, and she becomes more mobile every day. It was clear on our recent visit that V comprehends a lot of what is said to her and is beginning to produce words on her own. And her wonderful, affable personality is just bursting forth. J said his own 40th birthday is sort of a milestone, but he felt V’s first birthday was of far greater significance. It’s hard to comprehend that so much has happened in her life already, yet the vast portion of her experience still lies ahead.
Like V, J was an easy and rewarding baby from his first year on. From the time he came home from the hospital, he’d sleep through the night, rarely cried, and was curious about everything in the world about him. As new and inexperienced parents we’d lie awake at night, trying to hear him in the next room, then tiptoe in to make sure that he was still breathing. Katja went back to work when J was six months old, and, after a couple of nannies, 2-year-old J joined 80-year-old Mrs. Tucker’s daycare entourage in Fairview. Mrs. Tucker had raised hundreds of children during her life. We looked upon her as Mother Earth, and she was incredible. J grew up to be a very well-adjusted child, certainly moreso than either of his parents, and we give all the credit to Mrs. Tucker.
Last week I told J that forty was the best birthday age of all. He pointed out that I’ve said that about every new year he’s attained for the last decade. He’s right about that, but this year my opinion is finally correct. Forty is the best age of all, right at that dividing line which merges the best features of youth (e.g., health, excitement with life, fun) and adult maturity from many life lessons and getting it all together. In J’s case, he and K have a wonderful, lively marriage, and now a bright and beautiful daughter. They’ve both completed excellent educations and established themselves successfully in careers where they make important differences in people’s lives. They have a wide network of loving friends and are firmly attached to their chosen community of New Orleans and its culture. They travel widely and enjoy rewarding leisure pursuits. In brief, there’s much to celebrate and appreciate in this trio of birthdays. And it makes Katja and I very proud and happy.
-Vicki L (9-24): Happy Birthday to the Magnificent Three. Yes, an astonishing story, that of the oracle. Hmmm, a story I find a tiny bit hard to believe…And yes indeedy, I too, find J, K and V's lives a source of joy and inspiration.
-Phyllis SS (9-24): You made up the oracle on Mt. Airy right? Clever.
-Donna D (9-24): so moving david. the picture of a successful life. of course you made up the oracle stuff, right?
-KKB (9-24): Dave, thank you for making my day! What a sweet and loving letter....
-Ami G (9-23): Amen.
-JML (9-23): I'm feeling a lot better about life after reading this.