With thoughts of my grandnephew Isaac's first birthday in mind - and the feelings of hope that that has stirred in me for the upcoming election - I met with my long-time friend Julie Carroll today to celebrate her birthday with a lunch at Doc Chey's on N. Highland Avenue. Julie, you may be able to tell from the photo, is pregnant and is due January 23rd.
(I hinted at the possibility that she might deliver an inauguration day baby and asked whether "Barack" was a possible baby name. Julie reminded me that "Nora" and "Charlotte" - both in contention - might be more suitable for a girl.)
As it turns out, my niece Hilary is also expecting. She's due in early November, as though we needed any more excitement then!
So, not surprisingly, birthdays - past, present and future - are very much a theme this week. Thursday will be Issac's, his first. Monday was Julie's fortieth - believe it or not, since she still looks like a kid. And today is the fiftieth birthday of my friend and neighbor, Dennis Blanton, whose wife Ingrid has devoted so much of her time these past few months to working for the Obama campaign and organizing her own cadre of volunteers, that I tease Dennis about having become an Obama widower.
But what could be more fitting now than the celebration of birthdays? They offer each of us an opportunity - one day a year - to grasp the past in one hand and the future in the other, pause, reflect, take in a deep breath, make a wish, and, of course, blow out the candles.
Happy birthday, everyone, whenever you were - or will be - born. Here's wishing for the best on November 4th for all us Obama babies!