28 for 28: A birthday celebration, a social media experiment

Last year, my friend Al gave me a birthday card that said, “I love those people who are like ‘It’s my birthday week’ or ‘It’s my birthday month.’ Even Martin Luther King Jr. only gets a day. Calm down people.

I’ve had it displayed in my apartment for the past year because I enjoy missing the point. And I really enjoy my birthday/week/month.

This one is particularly IMPORTANT, however, as it’s my golden birthday. The one I’ve spent my whole life waiting for. On April 28th, I will be 28.

I think the first time I went to a golden birthday party, I was 8. So was the birthday girl. I remember balloons and a serious amount of envy as I realized I’d have to wait 20 years for my extra-special birthday party. Now that it’s here, what do I want?

Last year I had friends over for mimosas, went out for breakfast, took a bus to the Twins game (which was unfortunately rained out), took a nap, grabbed a beer at my favorite local bar, and celebrated at a bonfire with a bunch of other friends lucky enough to be born at the end of April. I got a crown; I wore a crown. I woke up the next day still wearing said crown. It was pretty great.

That’s not what I want to do this year.

I’m actually giving myself the best birthday present ever – I’m taking my mom to Ireland for 10 days in April. That’s all the gift I need. But I still want to do something more.  To quote Wayne Campbell, “What I’d really like to do is something extraordinary. Something big. Something mega. Something copious. Something capacious. Something cajunga!”

I want to do something GOOD. And I want you to do something good, too.

So taking inspiration from the Birthday Project, the #26Acts of Kindness movement, GOOD.is and the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, I’m starting something. Something fun, short-term, and (hopefully) Good.

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My main undertaking this month will be trying to raise enough money to save 28 lives through Charity:Water. But even if you can’t donate, I hope you’ll join me in the 28 For 28 project.

I’m aiming to do 28 Good Things in April. All I’d really like you to do – is pick one.

Join with me as I celebrate 28 good years over 28 days.

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Before and After.

Children. Just children.

I’m not going to say his name. I mean, as of right now, it’s a him. Maybe it’s even a them. I don’t care.

No, that’s not right. I care a whole hell of a lot. I care enough not to learn a new name for evil.

A few hours before, I found this quote, by any number of people if you are trusting the internet for answers: “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” I liked it. I shared it. A few hours later I still believe it, but I wonder, how?

Childhood. It should be the best thing – the best thing – in the world. Don’t you miss when everything was new and exciting and nothing bad had happened, or could happen? Isn’t it what we as a universe aim to protect? Isn’t that why we tell our children about Santa?

My childhood had some great moments. It had some icky moments. It had a whole lot of blissfully unaware moments. It had bike rides, books, swimming lessons, New Kids On The Block t-shirts. Barbies with my best friend, in a dad-made dollhouse. Scraped knees, broken arms, sprained ankles. It had bullies. It had crying. It had silly laughter and strange fashion, a lisp and a pink room with blue shag carpet. Music with my brother, sitting in “my spot” with my dad, everything with my mom. It was safe. It was blessed. I took it for granted and that’s the way it should be.

Children. If you’re lucky enough to have them, make their childhood safe and happy as long as possible and pray that the world gets better, or at least stops getting worse.

Let me know how I can help.

Children.