News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JUlY 24, 2005


Nothing like a good birthday party

The best birthday party I ever had was in July when I was 6, even though my birthday is in December.

I thought of that party a couple weeks ago when Regina and I had our daughters, Lynn Buckingham and Mary Grace Deas, and their families at the beach.

We celebrated birthdays for Wright and Emma Grace Deas, who are 4 and 2; and Trey and Ruby Gray Buckingham, who are not yet 4 and 2.

It didn't matter that birthdays are scattered from June to January, or that only family attended. Hey, a party is a party when there are water guns, noisemakers, Kool-Aid and birthday cake, and tiny American flags to wave in recognition of the nation's birthday, also.

Late in the afternoon, just before the daily shower blew in from the Atlantic, we partied. Hard.

We fought over a "roll out" party favor because it was one of a kind. We spilled bubble solution on the cake and scraped a knee on the concrete patio.

The party stars dressed in matching red and white shirts and red pants, bought special for the bash.

I liked my party because it was about as far from Christmas as it is possible to get. And there were presents that were not to be confused with one gift for both, birthday and Christmas.

These guys loved their party because they enjoy each other and didn't have the distraction of piles of gifts, and other children vying for them.

Most of us grow up thinking that in addition to loving family members, we are obligated to like them. Thus, we get thrown together at early ages to assimilate and let human nature take its course.

Trey and Wright, truly like each other.

"I want my cousin Wright to come see me," Trey says. And Wright wants to know about his cousin Trey. They like calling each other "my cousin."

So, with only the roll-out party favor to be jealous of, and Emma Grace claiming that, they may remember their joint celebration.

Maybe, when they are much older they will sit around drinking adult beverages and remember that crazy party their parents threw for them.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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