Birthdays

I’m doing some writing prompts by Ann Dee Ellis. Eight minutes, unrehearsed or edited. Today’s theme is birthdays – and I actually did this one twice, about two mostly unrelated things:

Nathan has this story that he loves to tell the dogs, about the days that they were born. Apparently we were there when they were born, they came out of my tummy and we brought them home from the hospital wrapped in blankets. He cradles Rupert like a baby and tells him this story over and over in a voice full of interesting pitches – the dogs love it. They will listen intently, tilting their heads with curiosity every time they hear unusual words or phrases that sound like things they already know.

It does make me a little sad that we weren’t there for their birth days. Posie would have looked like a little naked pink baby rat. Who knows what Rupert would have looked like – he is so obviously the runt of the litter, with his weirdly disproportionate paws and his health issues.

I’ve written about it before, but their birthdays each year are filling me with dread these days. One year closer to the finish line, one more year has slipped away, never to return, reminding me of how few years we will get to spend together in the narrative of my whole life. We will never own dogs like these ones again. There might be other great dogs in our future, but nobody will be Posie or Rupert, ever again. It makes me so sad to know that I will have to go on and live the rest of my life without them, but I should feel so lucky that I got to have them at all – out of all the dogs, we got the perfect ones for us.

They really are the best dogs.

*****

Nathan and I share a birthday. Four years apart. What are the odds? 1/365 if all dates are given equal weighting, which they shouldn’t be (more babies are born in September, more babies are born on certain days of the week, etc). So, depending on various factors, it’s probably a less than 1/365 chance. But it still blows people’s minds. It really amazes me how many people don’t even have a basic understanding of statistical probability. For example, did you know that a pregnant woman only has a 3.99% chance of spontaneously going into labour on her due date but she has a 50% chance of already having delivered by that point? These are the statistics that drive people mad, because if it deviates from their anecdotal experience (or those of people they know) even slightly or they can’t wrap their head around the numbers for whatever reason, they will insist that the whole study is wrong.

This really has nothing to do with birthdays, does it? 🙂

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