Happy Birthday, Bill

Ah, William.  You heart-breaker.  You shameless flirt.  You had me at “the quality of mercy is not strained.”  I mean, how’s a seven-year-old supposed to resist language like that?  And here’s the thing: no one saw it coming.  Mom and Dad figured I wouldn’t notice you, probably counted on our age difference as something that would steer me clear of you–maybe even send me down for a nap.

But no.

From the first moment, from, “In sooth, I know not why I am so sad,” I was yours heart and soul.  From there it was but a short step to, “for you, I would be trebled twenty times myself.”  Ah, me, Will Shakespeare.  You captured my affections before I knew I had any to bestow.

Did you know I tried to give my daughter your birthday?  And when she insisted on being born two days early, I shook my head and asked, “Who will believe thee [fill in the name, fellow bard-o-philes!]?”  Did you hear I middle-named my first-born after you?  Called my second-born after the jolly knight of Twelfth Night?

You ruined me, Will, for anyone else.  Here’s to you–I raise my bumper high and toast this, your 447th year.

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