Today is my brother Bill’s 29th birthday.
I still remember when I spent an entire day looking for the perfect rocks to present him for his birthday gift when he was turning six. I was just a year and a half older. I had spent the day searching the field, picking up and dropping dozens of rocks. Filling my little straw purse with them. When the purse was too heavy to carry, I took it into the house and laid out all the rocks to choose the best ones for my brother. He looked at me kind of strange when he opened my gift, wrapped clumsily in a piece of cloth. I tried to tell him that I had spent my entire day in search of the perfect rocks, and that was why it was such a special gift. But how can you compete with a radio walkman, which is what my parents bought him? Especially for a six year old?
He pretended to love them anyways, although we laughed about it years later because, really they were rocks. I smiled to myself when I learned that his son Ethan picked up rock collecting for a short time, around the same age. Made me remember that birthday of his all over again.