Everyone has a birthday and that day is their own day where everyone focuses on them, but for some people like me, it is different. I share a birthday with my great-grandma Theresa Scalise. We were both born on Dec. 3. At 1:16 in the morning of her 89th birthday, I was brought into the world. My parents called my great-grandma and were so proud to announce my arrival. That was probably the greatest birthday present she ever received.
She is the matriarch of our family and last year she turned 101. When everyone says, “Happy Birthday” they are usually talking to her, but she is the first person to pull me over and tell everyone that it is my birthday too. Just because sometimes I feel left out does not mean there is nothing good about sharing a birthday. I am known to her as her birthday boy. We have a special connection that no one else will ever have. We laugh with each other and love to talk and sit together even though it feels as if we get limited amounts of that sweet time.
When you share a birthday with someone who is now 101, and still lives in the same Brooklyn house she raised her family in, you get to see the outpouring of love from family and friends whose lives she touched. I can only hope that during my life I touch that many lives. I cherish the times that we get to spend together, and they are very precious to me. We don’t like to waste a second of it because each moment we share together is one to remember.
The cool thing to sharing my birthday is that I get to celebrate it twice. We always see my great-grandma together with all the family. However, my mom always makes cupcakes so that I can celebrate in school.
Karen Landsman’s sixth-grade class, Polk Street Elementary School, Franklin Square