We've been through this with a family member. Many Australian families are faced with the same delightful experience, but by the time these young adults have returned to Australia, their interest in 'family birthday celebrations' have waned a little.
But nonetheless they happily enough pander to mother's birthday celebrations as a recall of family birthday hurrahs!
At this point it might be a good time to reflect on birthdays and what this annual celebrations might mean.
Your birthday is the one day of the year that belongs to you alone. There are many ways that it touches you.
Your birthday can give you much personal joy
â€¢ celebrate your family identity;
â€¢ give promise for the future;
â€¢ provide others with an opportunity to celebrate with you;
â€¢ provide you with the opportunity to offer friendship to others;
â€¢ give you a sense of belonging within your community;
â€¢ allow you to appreciate past events and put them in perspective.
As I've aged year by year, I have come to appreciate some sense of proportion within my own life.
I have asked myself numerous questions which relate to my very essence and my place in time and space, such as wondering what contribution I have made to my own family members, and whether I have shown positive or negative attributes to them.
I've been reflecting on the things that are really important, noting that death-bed reflections he has been privileged to hear never relate to longer working hours!
This sense of proportion provides an array of unanswered questions which can also provide remarkable opportunities if one has the confidence to run with them and see where they lead. In my case, I have been wondering what can I offer to my family and society in my late 50s and into my 60s and for the rest of my life.
I asked, "What is it that I might leave as a lasting impression for good? What role is there for me that my adult family might welcome?"
I've been pleasantly surprised by these birthday reflections in that, because as a Christian, a firm belief in the future is essential to Salvation. I'm also thankful for Christian friends, who provide comfort in these areas.