Our 4 year-old runs into our room and jumps up on the bed:
"Happy Birthday!" we cheer, smothering him with hugs.
"I love tomorrow," he sighs. "Tomorrow is my best
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
It takes me a minute. And then I realize, that all day yesterday he kept asking when his birthday is and we kept saying "tomorrow." So now here are today - it's his tomorrow, his birthday, and therefore, his best day ever.
Personally, I like "yesterday." Because it's over and everything's done. I prepared all the meals, drove all the car pools, bathed everybody and they all went to sleep. I finished that day. And I know how it ended.
"Today" is a little more intense. Because it always starts with a list called "Things to do today," so the pressure is immediately on. This particular "today" is going to be challenging, because I'm having 15 four year-olds over for a birthday party, along with parents, in-laws and a clown. I know what I want to happen today, but have no idea if any of it will.
"Tomorrow" is actually a pretty good day because it's the catch-all. Whatever I didn't do yesterday or today, surely will get done tomorrow. And more importantly, tomorrow I'll know how today turned out.
Tomorrow I will know that the birthday party ended with all of us in the Urgent Care, watching my son get five stitches in his head. See, now that's something I don't want to know today. Because if I knew that, I wouldn't be icing cupcakes, I'd be MapQuesting emergency rooms. Best to know this tomorrow.
Although... if yesterday I knew what was going to happen tomorrow, which is today, then I could have really planned for the head-busting party finale. I could have had my car parked on the street instead of in front of 11 cars. And I wouldn't have put party favors by the door, I would have put my insurance card there.
So you see, today's tomorrow for some is far more appealing than tomorrow's yesterday for others. But as of today I don't know any of this, and probably won't even realize it until the day after tomorrow when I write this column.
Better to focus on wrapping his gift.
And be happy for my son on his birthday, living today as if it were yesterday, forever excited about tomorrow. Glad we're giving him a calendar...