Andrew celebrated his fifth birthday this past week, and it got me to thinking about birthdays.
I don't remember most of my birthdays; I remember one when I was sick and I got a woolly mammoth model, but I don't even remember what year that was. I remember one in college when my sister woke me up at approximately 12:01 to be "the first" to wish me a happy birthday... and shortly after we hung up, my roommate came in and was on the phone until 2:30 or so, and the next day I got some birthday cards in the mail and a fraternity brother asked, "What is it, your birthday?" and when I said "yes, as a matter of fact, it is" he didn't even respond with an obligatory "happy birthday."
But I do remember my fifth birthday. For several reasons. One was that I remember feeling like five years old was big stuff. I finally reached the big time.
The second reason I remember my fifth birthday was the unique "present" I got on my fifth birthday. My brother and sister and I woke up earlier than our parents (think "crack of dawn") and went downstairs to play, and we were surprised to find an indoor pool to play in! The sewers had backed up and our entire basement was filled with an inch or two of, well, sewage. Being little kids, we played in it, floating bottle caps and so forth. When my parents got up, they were shocked and not in a good way. We spent the rest of my birthday at grandma's house.
The third reason I remember my fifth birthday was what I got. As a little boy, I would get fixated on one thing and one thing only when it came to gifts. Sure, I'd mark up the toy catalog with everything I wanted, like Hulk Instant Muscles, but I generally only wanted one thing. That particular year, the "one thing" was a Big Wheel. The only problem was that my parents couldn't afford one.
No problem, I thought. I'd pray for one.
So after I'd been praying for a Big Wheel, my dad was out getting the word out about my mom's new preschool, and he found someone's discarded little Big Wheel (toddler size) that he thought maybe he could somehow fix up for me, so he strapped it to the back of his bike and rode on. Sometime later, he was stopped by someone driving a truck. "You want some more of those?" - In the back of his truck (among other things), the guy had parts from Big Wheels and he was on his way to the dump with them.
When my dad got finished with the parts, he had enough, not only for a Big Wheel for me, but also one each for my brother and sister!
(and since we were at Grandma's house, where there was no sidewalk, I got to ride it inside)
My fifth birthday was big time. I remember it and God's provision whenever things seem scarce.