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Every Birthday's Different and Dad Recalls Them All

Here are some recent columns from our west suburban writers we think you might enjoy.

She's only 6, but her birthday parties have already changed dramatically. Tony Cesare, , remembers every detail: "The second birthday is always a pale imitation of the first. The grandparents still show and there’s still plenty of age-appropriate oogling and cooing, but it just lacks the emotional punch of the first—kinda like the Bulls’ second championship; who remembers that?"

Kristi Gilbert, the enjoys a nearly perfect day with her toddler, marred only by a lack of tomatoes: "Every now and then, though, I go over the top to deliver a super-special and eventful day to my daughter. It is on those particular days that I feel like a million bucks."

Got knives? He travels. Karen Chadra opens her Patch when a peddler, The Knife Sharpener Guy, rolls past her door: “In the spring I hardly make any money. It’s cold, people don’t hear me. In the summer, people are more out and stuff.”

Do you want your kid to grow up to be one of those employees who requires constant praise and positive feedback just for showing up? Andrea Knudsen, , thinks it's time to dial it back on all the new graduation ceremonies: "I don’t want my kids to grow up expecting a personal parade at the end of every school year. I want my kids to be challenged and to put forth maximum effort—and be proud of themselves when they meet their own goals."

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