My grandson turned six this week. A big moment in his life. Seems like only yesterday that he was the small baby in the image here. For most youngsters the sixth birthday is a big milestone. It marks the passage to “real school age” with almost all either in or preparing to start the First Grade.
When I look back now I don’t really remember anything about my sixth birthday. Early August, in rice growing region of Northeast Arkansas, it was probably another hot, muggy day. Most of us didn’t have air conditioning so we relied on fans to keep cool but the heat didn’t seem to affect you much when you were five or six. I looked up my sixth birthday on a calendar and found it was on a Thursday. My father was probably at work but my mother, who taught school, was home for the summer. I’m sure I had a birthday party with cake and presents. With some degree of certainty I can probably name almost everyone who was at the party. That’s one advantage of growing up in a small town. The birthday must have been a good one.
Years later my son celebrated his sixth birthday. Again, what was probably another hot August day. His sixth birthday was on Sunday so I was home to celebrate with him. But instead of a small Arkansas town, we were instead on a military base near Heidelberg, Germany. I’m sure we had a party for him that day but I can’t remember a single person who attended. I suspect he can’t either. Military families, kids especially, don’t usually have the same, constant set of friendships that are prevalent in small towns. Instead, they are continually making new friends in new places and seeing old friends move on to new locations. Parents try to make life stable for their children and are usually successful.
My grandson is growing up in yet another environment – living in a urban area. I’m not really sure how that affects friendships and birthdays. His sixth birthday also turned out to be a warm, muggy day even though it was in June, not August. He is playing Tee-ball this summer and has a game tonight, weather permitting. We are taking presents and cupcakes for him to share with his teammates. Who knows what memories he will carry of his sixth birthday and the days surrounding it. We can only hope they are all good. Happy Birthday, Ezra!