In case you weren’t aware, today’s date is December 12th, 2012, which in any country’s shorthand form is 12-12-12. Of course, if this is the first you’ve heard of it, I can only assume you avoid all forms of social media as if twitter, facebook, Google+, etc carry more cooties than Debbie Vesserschmitt did in the first grade. Even beyond that, if no one in real life has mentioned it to you either, one must assume that:
- you’re a professional writer and driven by loneliness to embrace the fevered brain voices,
- you work in a morgue, or
- you’re a vampire (or, potentially, some other form of the solitary undead).
Word on the street over the past week or so has been that 12-12-12 must portend Serious Events. You know, a cataclysmic apocalypse, the reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles, the rising of Groucho Marx in zombie form, or the reinstatement of one Peter Edward Rose to Major League Baseball’s good graces.
Personally, I consider all of these things to be of equal likelihood. Which is to say, they’re all about as likely to happen today just because the calendar says it’s 12-12-12 as I am to put on my Jessica Rabbit dress and dig a 100 foot trench in my backyard.
What? No everyone has a sparkly Jessica Rabbit dress? Ahem. Uh, yeah. Let’s forget I said that last part.
Regardless, the probability of something Crazy! Miraculous! or Astounding! happening just because today is December 12th, 2012 is pretty much nil. See, because those dates we go by? Yeah, they’re made up. We made them up. The calendar we live – and sometimes struggle – doesn’t have any kind of magical relationship to some finite reference point in Universe time. Seriously, it’s like, a good guess. Not only that, it’s changed like, 15 times* or something since it’s inception in Roman times.
Seriously, getting all worked up because a certain sequence of numbers just happens to fall in an attractive sequence today is about the same thing as manually lining up the 1, 2, and 3 cubes from a set of children’s wooden blocks and then flailing about because, obviously, the sky will soon commence falling.
I have roughly the same opinion of the Big Mayan Adventure which is supposed to kick off on the 21st. Prognosticating foreboding events to a specific, given date is a fool’s game. Just as Harold Camping, who couldn’t have been the most chipper of chaps on either 5/22 or 10/22 this year.
All that said, I wouldn’t want to suggest that today is completely without a Serious Event. Indeed, nothing could be further from the truth. Today is the Mini-Me’s 9th birthday. It’s hard to believe that nine years ago today, I found out in the middle of what was intended to be a day-long job interview that the Puddinette had finally gone in labor (he was in no hurry, at the time being several days overdue). A more detailed story of Mini-Me’s birth can, of course, be found in the archives.
Really, though, I think one of the best bits I’ve written about our second son came from the post on his 7th birthday two years ago when I wrote:
The thing is that Mini-Me became attached to the idea of playing hockey last year because the poor child aspires to be Just Like Me. I play hockey, so he thought he should play hockey. It’s the same reason he puts hot sauce on his oyster crackers at Skyline.
The irony is that although he’ll never know it, the reason he doesn’t care very much when he takes the ice is because he’s already almost exactly like me. When I was kid, you couldn’t pay me to watch a football game, I’d complain every time the Reds game pre-empted my nightly TV watching plan, and I only ever played wiffleball when my older brother pressed me into service because they needed an extra player.
Already at a mere seven years old, it’s apparent to anyone who knows both of us that my second son is very deserving of his most recent nickname. He’s careful to avoid hurting others, always wants to know what’s going on, is intent on understanding how things work, is driven by his imagination, and tries very, very hard not to let anyone know when something’s hurt him.
He is completely, unquestionably my son.
No, today may not be the Big Day the numbers on the calendar might suggest. But to us, at least, it’s a pretty damned important one nonetheless. For nine years and counting, now, I’ve had the privilege to watch a young man put his own stamp – which seems remarkably like an echo of my own – on the world as he makes his way through it.
And if that’s not a damned important event, no matter what the calendar says, I don’t know what is.
Happy Birthday, Mini-Me. May your day be full of Bear Grylls’ survival gear, action figures, and fun!