To-day I am going to share some wise silliness. There is no such thing as silly wisdom.
In our family June through October is the season of birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, recitals, and reunions. You’ll note that I didn’t say, vacations. We are all much too busy to just go away and wander about or laze about. Vacations… from work or school… mean the gift of free time, free to do what we want, when we want it. Vacations mark a time of freedom from imposed responsibilities, a time to celebrate who we are, what we love to do.
Yesterday was one of those celebrations.
A birthday… a SIXTEENTH birthday… seems to require special acknowledgement… but so did TEN and THIRTEEN and so will EIGHTEEN and TWENTY-ONE, and every year in between. Sixteen is important because in Ontario you can begin the expensive and time-consuming apprenticeship for acquiring a driver’s license, a process that now takes two years to complete.
Apart from such formalities (and I suppose in many countries this would include compulsory military training or service), being a year older is of little real consequence. Our children are already older than their chronological age, wise beyond their years… they are being systematically denied their innocence and playfulness by the often dangerous world in which they live, and by the access to technology and information we both allow and expect them to assimilate.
But birthdays are still HUGELY important, though they need not be celebrated in hugely extravagant ways. We acknowledge the value of that person in our lives… I am so glad you are my daughter, I am so glad you are my friend, the world would be a sadder and less interesting place without your contributions, you are special! Six or Sixteen or Sixty… we need to hear that, often, even every day, but in our culture it is traditional to hear it particularly on our birthday. How sad when it is not there.
These Russian cartoons based on Winnie the Pooh say it so well. It is refreshing to see the characters drawn in a different style, to see a different landscape, to hear the different language and voices.
Different… and yet the same! Enjoy this as folk art… and pass it on to someone you know who is having a birthday.