Today is July 30th — a date that should be etched in some history book somewhere, if my brother had a say in it. For the last 39 years, my family has celebrated this day with presents, cakes, and gatherings. Why? Well, if you are a friend or a family member of mine you have heard it a million times throughout the year, it’s Nick’s birthday. For those who don’t know my story or follow my blog (which you should, so go like it right now), my brother, Nick, is a pure gem. Nick was born with 4XY Chromosome Disability, which basically means he is awesome and everything is centered around him. Joking! OK, not really. Especially, when it comes to his birthday.
Growing up, Nick’s birthdays were celebrated with purpose and a large gathering of all our cousins. If you take a stroll through our old family pictures, you would think I didn’t even have birthday parties, because the only pictures captured of any birthday were Nick’s. Ask anyone in my family, Nick talks about his birthday year round, and whatever birthday he was celebrating that year, he was already planning the next one. It was and still is his jam. He calls everyone for months leading up to his birthday, stating all the gifts he needs and wants. Yesterday alone, he called me two times just to remind me that he wanted lottery tickets and a new playstation game. With each present he opened, year after year it would be the same reaction “Alllllrighhhttt,” as he would smile and move his head to side to side with a swag of confidence.
Most would think we celebrate his birthday, because Nick loves it so much and it brings him so much joy. That is true, but there is so much more to his birthdays. Deep down there is a certain meaning to his birthday that is left unspoken that I think we all have and cherish within us. We celebrate who Nick is, what he has fought through, and the love he brings each of us. We celebrate Nick for being Nick! It’s really hard to explain, but I bet if you are a parent or a sibling to someone with a disability you’re smiling right now, because you get it.
Last night, I was talking to my mom on the phone discussing the plans for his birthday. We went on to talk about how it was just going to be us, even though Nick invited anyone he talked to (like he always does). And that we would wear masks. This birthday looks different and feels different… DAMN YOU COVID! But one thing is certain, Nick will still celebrate, we will still eat cake, he will still be happy, and WE still have a lot to celebrate because he is here with us.
This short blog post was just too say, birthdays are special for everyone. However, for Nick, they are just a little extra special and always have been. Happy Birthday, Nick!
P.S. Nick has already discussed what next year’s birthday will look like for his BIG 4-0! He wants me to get a limo and take him to Hooters!