I say it's my birthday

34 years ago, my mom had a baby boy.

I was born at about 5:00 AM Central Standard Time.

I was my parents’ first born. They had only been married for 5 years at the time.

I was named after my father. Richard Louis Aiello Junior. My middle name was that of my paternal grandfather.

My mom was 26 years old at the time. My dad was 32.

I was born Ceasarean Section. There were complications while trying to perform natural childbirth which prompted this. I am told I had a “cone head” for a while because of this. (Laugh if you want to. Go ahead. I dare you.)

After the (then) customary weeklong stay in the hospital, I came home to live with my parents, where I stayed for 27 years before moving out on my own.

My parents still live in that house, and I still sleep in that same bedroom when I come to visit.

I grew up a predominantly happy child. There were rough times, of course. But I had wonderful, loving, yet stern parents. They helped shape who I am today. I am forever grateful for their constant love, guidance and support throughout these 34 years.

Wow. 34 years. That’s a long time.

And yet I still feel so young.

I guess age really is just a number.