Max’s birthday was this week. He turned four years old on November 8.
And for the second year in a row, I completely forgot until several days later. This year I even thought about it the week before and double-checked the day, but when Sunday got here, I did not remember at all. And it shouldn’t ever be a difficult day for me to remember because it is the day before my sister’s birthday.
You can see how sad he is that I forgot.
Actually, if he was disappointed, it was probably just because Sundays are very busy for me and I don’t get to spend much time with him on those days. I’m sure if he understood or cared about his birthday, he would let me know. Either way, he seems to be fine with a little extra attention and treats whenever they come his way.
But Max did teach me how bad I am at remembering important things like birthdays. While I don’t care much for celebrating my own birthday, I do like celebrating with others. I never intentionally put those things out of my mind; I just have a terrible time remembering them.
So, Max taught me that since I can’t remember these things on my own, I should show I care by doing whatever I need to remind myself of these special days. I can be more intentional about putting them on my calendar and taking time every now and then to think forward and backward in time to see what I recently missed or what is coming up.
Max has taught me that such effort is a form of caring for those important people in my life and it leads to powerful ways of expressing that care.
He taught me that remembering what is going on in people’s lives does take some extra time and thought, but that it is worth it to show the people in my life that they are important.
He taught me that celebrating others, like any form of expressing love, requires some effort. And the effort does not detract from the authenticity of the celebrating, but rather adds to the expression of care.
So, thank you Max for teaching me to put in a little more effort to remembering the important people in my life and the significant things about them. And I am very thankful that you have been on this world for four years and in my life for most of that! Happy Birthday!