Birthdays are special even in pandemic

Jeff Osborne

Celebrating a birthday is always a special time, but some birthdays are considered milestones in life in which people reach a certain age. That was the case for my family recently, as we celebrated our son Sam’s 10th birthday.

Celebrating a birthday during a pandemic can pose challenges that you’d never even think of during normal times. Where you go is more restricted. Finding certain items is difficult, if not impossible. 

For instance, last year we considered getting my son a Nintendo Switch. We ended up getting him another gift instead, and revisited the idea this year. Finding a Switch was not difficult last year, but that certainly isn’t the case in 2020. Because many people are stuck at home with a lot more time on their hands, the Nintendo Switch is a scarce commodity this year. The only ones available on Amazon were purchased by people with the idea of profiteering, and the prices on that merchandise had doubled or tripled from what was considered fair market value.

My wife was able to locate a different video game system that my son is enjoying, but many stores had sold out of that, too. We had to order it from a store in San Antonio and wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive. But we were fortunate not to suffer from the price gouging that hampered our efforts in getting the Nintendo.

The best news is that although travel, gathering together and celebrations are restricted in this time of coronavirus, we were still able to have a wonderful time with family and a couple good friends who made the celebration very special.

I remember many years ago (a few decades, now) turning 10 and the big deal my grandmother made of reaching that age. “You’re in the double digits now, kid!” she told me. My son’s Nana wrote a similar comment in his birthday card this year. 

Turning any age as a child is cool, but there’s something about reaching those double digits that holds the promise of exciting times on the horizon. It’s bittersweet for a parent to see their children grow older. It’s such a blessing, but we want to hold onto their childhood as long as we can, too. All too soon, the teenage years roll around, then getting a driver’s license, graduation and the next steps after that.

I told my son and his friend Landon to enjoy being young and to stay young as long as possible. I told them I’m not talking about just being kids, I consider the 20s and even up to the mid-30s a part of being young, too, even though those ages certainly have many adult responsibilities tied to them.

Childhood should be a fun, awesome, memorable time, but it certainly flies by quickly. Before you know it, little kids become big kids, and then suddenly they are pushing 30 — or beyond.

Holding onto the good times and cherishing them is always important, but during a time when our world is now so different, it’s more important than ever. Despite all the challenges and difficulties we face, I hope and pray that our kids — and the children of future generations — are able to enjoy a life of blessings, too.

Jeff Osborne is the editor of the News of San Patricio and the Refugio County Press and can be reached at 361-364-1270 or at


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