Today is my half-birthday. For those of you keeping track at home, that means I'm something-and-a-half. When I was little my mother marked half birthdays by baking half a cake. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized the secret of the missing half. She just baked one layer, cut it in half, and stacked it.
This also means it's the birthday of Buddy Bear, who was given to me on my half birthday by my husband and younger daughter. He and I have been through a lot together. He may be as old as ten or eleven--perhaps even twelve?--but he's every bit as much my best friend now as he was the day he walked in the door.
Although Buddy is very likely approaching adolescence, he shows no signs of it. He's still very loving, cuddly, a little bit unsure of himself. He continues to be afraid of heights and isn't at all keen on acrobatics or acts of derring-do. He loves to sing and dance. He tends to ask questions first to make sure he knows what's going on. He ponders things. As you might have guessed, he loves all things honey and adores fruit, especially blueberries.
Turning something-and-a-half is yet another opportunity for considering how old I am, marveling at things and places and people who are gone or irrevocably changed. But today I find myself thinking of Buddy, and all the ways I continue to be childlike. Make fun of me if you will. I'm pretty happy about this part of myself. Like Buddy I'm still asking questions and open to learning something new.
I can't imagine Buddy ever saying, "Get off my lawn!" He's far too interested in making a new friend to play with. In fact, he probably thinks that Buddy Benches are named after him. (I haven't asked.) He's been through four or five different shirts, scary trips through the washer and dryer, and several surgeries involving additional stuffing. None of that has changed his positive, loving, and curious world-view.
I'm thinking I might just bake him a cake today.