Blue Boy awoke earlier this week to a yard display announcing his 16th birthday to the neighborhood. After virtual school and golf practice, he celebrated with a small gathering of friends at home, sharing a special cake. Being 1500 miles apart, we Facetimed for a few minutes.
I have a friend who travels the country to celebrate every family event including birthdays, weddings, confirmations, baptisms, anniversaries, retirements, and funerals. I make phone calls or send cards, sometimes e-cards. Maybe it is introversion that keeps me home. The thought of attending all those events is exhausting and distressing. And so I am grateful to have the technology to keep me connected.
My father was entering his teens during the flu epidemic of the early 20th century. I wish I had known about it and asked him what he remembered, but until recently my only knowledge was that it had happened. So much history is watered down into dates along a time-line, and we are ignorant of the impact on individuals, societies, and culture. I told Blue Boy to remember this birthday, that he was living history. I gave him a virtual hug; he gave me his perfunctory head nod and smile. Thanks to the internet, I felt the love.
Happy Birthday, Blue Boy!