In Dixieland Where I Was Born
Having been born in the middle of December, it would be romantic to imagine myself as the writer of that old tune Dixie; to sing “In Dixieland where I was born, early on one frosty morn” and picture myself as an infant bundled against the cold as I traveled home from the hospital. Having been born in South East Georgia, the reality is it may have been frosty somewhere in Dixie that day, but not in Vidalia.
Birthdays have never meant a lot to me. I’ve never really dreaded them and I’ve never wanted to make a big deal about them. I was born one day and I just keep on existing; I’m thankful for continued health and all that it brings, but I don’t know that I really deserve any rewards for it. I’ve also never understood being upset about getting older; it’s not my fault I was born in 1985 and now it’s 2023. Why should I feel bad about the earth rotating with me on it?
Having a birthday near Christmas probably skews my perspective some, but one year Mama and Daddy made an effort to change that. I’d just started a job and they wanted me to take off to go to my Nana’s house one August weekend. Being new, I refused.
When the new schedule came out I was off anyway, so off to Alabama we went.
I walked in the door at Nana’s and there stood all of my family around a table full of presents and a birthday cake. It wasn’t a significant birthday and I wasn’t handed the keys to a brand new car or anything, but Mama and Daddy had decided to make it a year that I didn’t have to share any of the attention with Jesus, even if that meant celebrating four months early.
I think about that birthday often; Daddy calling my boss behind my back, Nana baking that cake just for me, and the love I felt from a family gathering around in the heat of the summer to celebrate a December birthday.
That one was worth making a big deal about.