My siblings and I used to play game in which we would vie to be the first to bestow birthday wishes by telephone. The game has lost some of its fervor, however, as we have grown older, had kids of our own, and veered off into some wildly different schedules. Nurse Jane and I go to bed with the chickens. It's typically daylight when I go to bed, with the exception of the deep, dark winter. Katydid works at night, usually 4:00 to midnight, except for this week, when it's 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM. I rarely try to call her at all. Brother Jack works out of town building restaurants and hotels and nuclear bunkers to be used in times of an apocalypse. Just kidding about that last part.
We don't try as hard anymore to be the first, but we all call each other on our birthdays, or at least we email.
Therefore I was a little surprised, but not hurt or anything, that Brother Jack did not call me on my birthday this past Tuesday. I knew he was probably busy.
He called this morning, however, when I was on my way to work. He sounded a little put out that the other siblings had actually called ON my birthday. As if someone had suddenly changed the rules and failed to notify him.
We talked for a few minutes, and he wished me a happy birthday.
Then he wished me happy birthday again and said it was for next year. I guess he's the first.