My attitude about birthdays has long been, “Everybody has one.” With nine billion people on earth, 25 million people share your “special” day. Bah, humbug! Birthdays? Everybody has one.

But I am softening my stand as the sweetness of life continues to favor me. My grandson, whose birthday may be among millions of others that day, is a special boy whose life I celebrate without regard to clock or calendar. And his life underscores a simple truth that has, until now, seemed to escape me. While birthdays are not unique, they are, indeed, special. That little boy, all of two years old, has no concept of time as his days are measured not in work hours or TV schedules, but in learning. And his birthday signals a time for those in his circle of family and friends to celebrate and smile and be thankful.

For my grandson, one day passes into the next unnoticed and unmarked. For me, each day ticks by with a knowing click. For him each awakening means Mommy and playtime and reading books and Spaghetti O’s. And on his birthday I stop and focus and smile at the thought of another milestone reached on his wobbly march into his future.

Evan Thomas Zinzi