Never too old for Kousin's Konvention
I think birthdays are even better than Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter, and those are my three favorite holidays.
I like everything about birthdays – everything from the corny candle-and-singing ritual to those yummy ice cream cakes from Dairy Queen.
And I have always loved sending and receiving birthday cards because it's always a pleasant surprise to open your mailbox and find a brightly-colored envelope with a handwritten address scrawled across the front instead of those pesky bills or junk mail circulars.
I think all birthdays, and not just the traditional passing-of-age milestones at 16, 21 or 50, should be equally recognized. It probably sounds hokey, but I believe birthdays show people how much their loved ones value them, and birthday parties have a special knack for bringing people together.
Last Saturday I drove to the Donnelly House in Birmingham for my grandfather's surprise 80th birthday party. Papaw said he had no idea that my grandmother had been planning this event for the past two months, and he seemed very surprised and happy that so many people came to see him.
I was also surprised because every one of my cousins came to his party, and this was the first time we had all been together since we were kids and Mamaw and Aunt Julie had gathered us at the lake house in Cullman for the last Kousins Konvention, which was basically a family reunion for all the cousins on my mom's side of the family.
For three straight summers we visited Smith Lake and spent a few days cooking out, playing video games and splashing in the lake. At Papaw's party, some of my cousins and I talked about how much fun it would be to get together again, but it will be a little different this time since most of them have kids of their own now.
Hopefully my cousins and I will figure out a way to bring those reunions back for the next generation.
After all, my aunt and grandmother relied mostly on land-line phone calls to organize these events, and we now have e-mails, cell phones and text messaging at our disposal, so there's really no excuse for us. And since my mom's birthday is in June, I think that would be a great time to have the fourth annual Kousins Konvention.