Last Saturday, October 27, 2012, I was in Sofitel with my family and friends to celebrate Chantal’s (my one and only niece) 7th birthday. It was definitely a blast filled with touching and fun-filled memories. Our family’s effort in the preparation of Chantal’s event was never wasted. Chantal surely enjoyed her moment. You can see it in her eyes, in her laugh and in her smile. Her parents, Reggie and Skye, did a tremendous job putting up this event for their one and only daughter. And of course we, Paps, Momsy, Carol, Micah, Camille and I, were in full support for the success of Chantal’s birthday celebration.
But there is one thought that lingered in my mind. “Why do we celebrate 7th birthdays?”
Here in the Philippines, it’s automatic to celebrate an individual’s 1st, 7th and 18th (or 21st for men) birthdays. In this blog I’d just like to point out my opinion about the significance of celebrating such birthdays especially the 7th year.
For every 1st birthday, of course we’re celebrating the marvelous gift of life. It is the celebration of the birth and a new life coming to a family. That’s why we can see in every 1st birthday that we celebrate, the atmosphere is doubtlessly full of joy, happiness and gratitude. I’ve been to a lot of 1st birthday celebrations and the one thing common I observed is the joy found in every person present in the event. Well that should really be the case since we’re talking about a new life, a new gift, a new miracle given by God to a family. Imagine the time when we were born, or during our 1st birthday, I think it would be touching and noble, not naive, if people are happy because of are existence. Right? 🙂
18th (for women) or 21st (for men) birthdays meanwhile is a celebration of an individual’s adulthood. I believe it’s a milestone in one’s life that is worthy of a celebration. The logic is obvious why we celebrate debut here in the Philippines that’s why I won’t go in so much details about my school of thought about 18th/21st birthdays (maybe on Chantal’s 18th birthday I might blog about it). But 7th birthdays? Why?
Just my own personal thought, I strongly, energetically and carefully agree that an individual’s 7th birthday is as important just as his or her 1st and 18th/21st birthday. But one’s 7th birthday is more significant than those two. Why? Here’s my personal take on that.
Our 7th year is usually our age when we first enter a milestone. Nursery, kindergarten and preparatory is now over. It’s time for a more challenging experience, the primary or elementary education. But not just in terms of educational background, our 7th year is considered as the time where we enter the age of accountability. It is the time where we are starting to have a moral sense of right and wrong. Just like Batman. Our 7 years of age is usually the instance where we are exhibiting a bit of maturity and a starting to have a sense of responsibility. And most importantly, this is the moment in our lives where we become susceptible in keeping the experiences in our minds meaning memories, constructive ones, are being saved by our brain.
The memories we have in this part of our life, particularly our 7th year of existence, make a lasting impact in our lives. Good memories are contributing factors on how a person perceives life. As I may put it, good memories in our childhood will translate in a positive outlook in life.
As I ponder about my life as we prepare and celebrate my niece’s 7th birthday, I went back to memory lane to visit my 7th birthday. Honestly, my memories of my 7th birthday are very vivid, detailed and profound. I guess an average individual would also remember his or her 7th birthday with so much details. I celebrated my 7th birthday in Jollibee. I had a kid’s party and a giant bee dancing Oh Carol to much delight of the guests. I remember everything from my 7th birthday. The food, the gifts, the people, and most of all, the feeling. Looking back at my childhood, I can say I had a fun, exciting and happy childhood. I’ve got to thank my parents for that. And I passionately believe with all my heart that all the good experiences and knowledge I had in my childhood, particularly on my 7th year, played a major role on how my life has shaped up now.
I took the Strengths Finder exam by Tom Rath and my number 1 theme is Positivity. People regarded with a theme of positivity is an individual who is light-hearted, energetic, enthusiastic and never loses hope no matter how bad the the circumstances are. Those descriptions from Tom Rath actually ring a bell on how I am as a person. I really consider that my childhood allowed me to have that kind of perception and perspective about life. If I had a lousy childhood or a sad 7th birthday, I believe I am a different person than I am today. Big thanks to my Dad and Mom who really made sure that I, along with my 3 sisters, had the best childhood any kid would have. I thank God for my parents.
That’s why today, I commend my sister Skye and my brother-in-law Reggie, for putting up the best efforts to give Chantal a memorable, special and big, big celebration for her 7 years of existence. I am pretty sure Chantal will have a positive outlook in life no matter how difficult it is to live in this world. She had an awesome birthday. She is having a not so bad childhood. I believe that will help her on how her life will shape up few years from now.
That is the reason why I am convinced 7th birthdays are significant and crucial. I hope I made a point. I believe every child deserves a great childhood and a 7th birthday celebration. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It just needs to be the best of our means.I pray that parents would really make a conscious effort to provide kids with the best childhood that they can have. Only parents will have that kind of ability and also, responsibility.
And I pray to those who haven’t had the chance to have fond memories from their childhood that caused them to have a different outlook about life and family. I pray that God would heal their eyes, and their hearts, that they will always look at life as something that is good and worthy to be thankful for. I pray they will always be full of optimism and hope.
Life is good. And our God is great. To my Dad and Mom, this blog is for you. Thank you for the childhood you have given me! And to my niece Chantal, happy 7th birthday! 🙂