Officer Brings Birthday Happiness to Boy

This one is sweet and sad. When an eight-year-old boy didn’t get picked up from school, and staff couldn’t reach an emergency contact, the police were called.

When Officer Darryl Robinson of the Green Bay Police department in Wisconsin arrived to collect the boy he recognized him immediately. He’d had a history with the family and knew the boy’s parent was incarcerated.

Even though no one had arrived to get him, the boy “was in good spirits,” Robinson said. Why not? It was his eighth birthday!

birthday generosity

Officer Robinson courtesy of GBPD

Officer Robinson courtesy of GBPDRobinson gave the birthday boy a ride in his patrol car. “He was very excited to ride in one,” he said.

Then, after reaching the grandfather to confirm it was OK, he brought the boy to McDonald’s. And just like that it was a happier birthday: “He loved playing with the toy in his Happy Meal.”

The Response is Sweet Too

People commenting on the story on the Police Department’s Facebook page thanked Robinson for his efforts. One woman offered to drop presents for the boy off at the police station to be delivered. Another commenter wrote:

“I think I just felt my heart break…Thanks to the officer for making that boy’s birthday a little better.”

I second that emotion. The officer did an admirable thing, but it’s sad to think of this boy sitting alone at school on his birthday. The good news is that it only took an hour or so before the boy could be reunited with his grandparent and siblings.

Makes me think of the blog I wrote earlier this year about being there for a kid’s birthday, and another one about agencies doing their part to make sure every child gets to celebrate a birthday. Glad to have a heartwarming tale to share though about birthdays even in the heart of this holiday season.

Birthday Love from Beyond

This one may make you a little sentimental. After all, it’s about a thoughtful Dad who arranged to have flowers sent to his daughter on her birthday — after his death.

Upon finding out his cancer was fatal, the Dad went to a local florist and prepaid for an annual birthday bouquet. He died when she was 16, but each year until she reached 21 she received flowers and a card.

birthday wish

Image: @sellersbailey Twitter

This year, her 21st birthday, she received the last of her birthday flowers. The Tennessean posted on social media a picture of herself with her Dad and an image of the flowers along with the message: “Miss you so much daddy.”

Birthday wishes continue

The Dad’s final card read: 

“Bailey, this is my last love letter to you until we meet again. I do not want you to shed other tear for me baby girl, for I am in a better place. You are and will always be the most precious jewel I was given.

It is your 21st birthday and I want you to always respect your momma and stay true to yourself.

Be happy and live life to the fullest.

I will still be with you through every milestone, just look around and there I will be.

I love you boo boo and happy birthday!!!!!

Daddy”

And that right there is why I love birthdays. They are an opportunity to take a moment and say the things to each other that we don’t stop and say every day. This Father had another impetus, yes, but we could all benefit from embracing the birthday as that day to openly say what is in our hearts.

birthday flowers

Image: @sellersbailey Twitter

Budgeting for Kid Birthday Gifts

Kids birthday gifts

Photo credit: JD Hancock via Foter.com / CC BY

I was recently in a big box store with a nine-year-old trying to find a gift. We were having a difficult time. On the plus side, the boy is big-hearted and wants to get his friend a super-duper-cool gift. But I’m not really expecting to spend $50+ on a birthday present for a friend of his.

I told him my price range, and he promptly reminded me of how much another friend spent on a birthday present for him: “$70.” I assured him that it was probably on super-sale. I sure hope so. I cannot believe that his buddy’s parents spent that much, although the scooter was much appreciated. (And I did try hard not to take it as a sign that they didn’t want my son borrowing their son’s scooter any longer…).

Then, this week, I saw a headline: “Kids Party Gifts: How Much Do We Really Need to Spend?” I was thrilled to see I am not the only one experiencing angst over this.

Buying Kid Gifts

The article’s author said she tries to stick to a limit of $20 for each kid, which reaffirmed my own budget cap. But, then she pointed out related costs.

Apparently she hires a sitter to entertain her kids while she shops to avoid having to buy them anything. Then, there’s the wrapping and the card and she figures she’s “probably inching toward $40 per birthday gift.”

She doesn’t even calculate the value of her time in this equation!

The article, though, ends with a plea to include gift receipts. She cites the example of a Mom who traded in all of her daughter’s gifts and kept the cash. The author says it seems “kind of wrong.”

I’m not going to waffle here: The idea of me buying a gift only to have the parent return it and keep the cash gets under my skin. I’m OK with the kid making that choice and purchasing something they’d rather have, but this Mom’s recouping the cash rankles.

What do you think? What’s a good price range for a birthday present for a kid? And where do you stand on the idea of parents trading in their kids’ gifts for cash? I’d love to hear your point of view.

 

Birthday Card as Time Capsule

The headline on a recent story had me thinking, “so what?” After all The Daily Times was reporting: “Mail Call: Friends swap birthday greeting back and forth for 20 years.” I was thinking, I have plenty of friends I have been wishing birthday greetings to for more than 20 years!

But I did read on, and I’m glad I did. It’s a fun thing Sherry Hillis and Patsy Lunde have done for decades. They’ve been sending the exam same Peanuts cartoon birthday card back and forth. The same one — for 20 years.

“Roses are red, cookies are chewy,” it says underneath her picture. On the inside, “A Year of Your Life has just gone Ka-Plooey! Happy Birthday!!”

But, what really makes the card special is the things they have written to each other over the years. Lunde even added pages to the card so that the two women could continue to catch up with one another every year.

Hallmark’s Loss

Lunde first picked out the card first for Hillis’s Sept. 1 birthday. Hillis turned around and sent it back to Lunde for her birthday just days later — Sept. 5.

That’s what they’ve been doing annually even as their careers took them in different directions — they started the tradition while both employed at the same hospital — and the children that they first met through (the girls swam together in school) grew up.

“Hallmark is losing money on us,” Lunde said.

I want to start this tradition with my friends right now! I love the idea of having an annual catch-up outside of the now obligatory Christmas card. The card that serves as an annual reminder also of what has come before and how much we friends continue to mean to each other.

Really, find someone you love, and start sharing a time line birthday greeting today. It will add even more to both of your special days.

100-year-old twins share birthday photoshoot

You’re hard pressed these days to go to a pretty park on a lovely day and not come across some carefully dressed children in front of a photographer. I live nearby a park with a lake right in the heart of Charlotte, NC, and often see kids with balloons or chalkboards announcing what birthday is being captured on film (or digital more likely). Never, though, have I seen a set of 100-year-old twins posing for the camera!

A British photographer, though, made it possible after reading about the pending centennial of two Brazilian sisters. Camila Lima, who focuses her photography on elderly subjects, contacted the family and offered to capture their big day. “I had never met anyone with 100 years, let alone twins that age…I thought, this is a moment that should be remembered for eternity.”

The siblings — Maria Pignaton Pontin and Paulina Pignaton Pandolfi of Brazil — showed up to the photoshoot with freshly styled hair and new, bright dresses.

Lima said the women were lively and excited throughout the shoot. The resulting photographs, shared on Metro News of the UK, have a festive air to them too!

I couldn’t resist sharing some of the vibrant images that the website included with its story. Seeing these vibrant smiles makes me (almost) look forward to my own 100th birthday!

 

 

Birthday present of flights for life!

Here’s a birthday perk you don’t run into often — free travel on board a certain airline after you’re born on the actual airplane!

birthday perk

Photo credit: ashokboghani via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Baby Christoph was recently awarded free travel on Spirit Air — on his birthday — for the rest of his life. This after his Mom gave birth on a flight destined for Dallas from Fort Lauderdale. Mom Cristina apparently went into labor after 30 minutes of travel. A nurse and pediatrician on board helped with the delivery as the flight was diverted to New Orleans.

Jet Airways of India offered a lifetime of free travel to a baby born at 35,000 feet on a flight from Saudi Arabia to Kochi in India. Mom Cicymol Jose was 30 weeks pregnant when she went into labor in the air, with only the assistance of a trained paramedic who was on board.

In April, too, a baby girl was born on a Turkish Air flight at 42,000 feet!

Not worth it

I’ve mentioned before that I love to travel, and am a big fan of the Destination Birthday trend, but being born on board an airplane is too high a price for the free plane tickets. At least for the Mom it is — she’s not getting any bonus airfare but she’s the one panicked and panting and giving birth to her baby surrounded by strangers. Ugh!

At least she gets a great story to share when she lands; and great fodder for future guilt trips for the kiddo.

Birthday Wishes Come True

birthday wishes come true

Image source: thedrive.com

 

What would be your biggest, bestest wish for a birthday present or surprise? Today, writing this, I’d say a trip to Iceland. Having just heard all about the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa from a friend, I want to experience this wonder of the world myself.

An 83-year-old gentleman was more interested in cars than travel, though. His main birthday wish was to ride in a Lamborghini Gallardo. The elderly resident of a Shelby, North Carolina retirement home had asked for a Lambo at his 82nd birthday. That was out of the price range, but the thoughtful activities director provided him with a scale model as a substitute.

Lambo in the flesh…or metal.

Then, come this year’s birthday, and Donald Hambright was already joking about having put too many miles on the Lambo in the last year and needing a replacement. Jessica Hickson put out a call on Facebook to see if anyone she knew had a way to make it possible for him to see a real Lambo live.

A local car dealership decided to help out and arranged for a black 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder to be available at the assisted living facility on Hambright’s 83rd birthday. They even took the birthday boy for a spin.

“It was like being in an airplane. Such a roar. It took my breath away,” Hambright told his local newspaper.

When a birthday takes your breath away, you know you are having a good one. Plus, this story proves it’s never too late to see your dreams come true!

Maybe at 84 he can visit the Lamborghini museum — it looks like a pretty sweet place to go. Plus, it’s in Italy. He could have a little birthday gelato too!

birthday wishes come true