It’s my “last” birthday… well, hopefully not my actual last one but my last birthday that increments - at least for a few years – I suppose it would be too much to still be 49 when I’m reaching 59! This one is not too traumatic, after all I’m still in my 40s. The next one though… we shall see.
I remember as a child being so excited about my birthday. My mom always (and still does) makes us feel so special. When we were young she always held a party for us and still bakes us a special cake. My cake has almost always been angel food cake.
I do remember one year – I think I was three – that it was a girl shaped cake covered with coconut. I never was a fan of coconut, I think even then. But how could I not be excited about a cake made specially for me!
For that third birthday I got a red pedal car. It was like a racing car and I drove that thing all over the place. It got passed down to my sister and brother but eventually some guy that was fixing the roof sat in it and broke it (grrrr – what an idiot).
For my fourth birthday I got a little ginger kitten which I named Puffy. I loved the feeling of her curled up against my legs when I was sleeping. She got hit by a car when I was 12 – man how I cried. I missed her so much. I still can’t listen to Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Puff the Magic Dragon” without crying.
For my seventh birthday I got a big blue bicycle – my parents still have it. No training wheels so there were a few skinned knees but then whoosh the bike was like an extension of my body – an imaginary horse.
When I turned 14 I got a new bike – a blue 10 speed that I decorated with florescent tape. I drove that thing everywhere but now it sits unused in the rafters of our garage.
I suppose those were the most memorable birthday gifts – no puppies or kittens or horses (the usual thing I asked for – well, I did get a horse for my 40th birthday, but it was of the statuary kind).
As an adult my birthdays are usually low key – I’m not one for big parties, although we always get together with my family at some point to celebrate both my birthday and my brother’s. The actual day seems less important as adult life intrudes, but I do like to celebrate with a bottle of bubbles – a tradition that I learned from my girlfriend Cynthia.
Really a birthday shouldn’t be about me, but should instead be a thanks to my mother for bringing me into the world and being such a great mom to boot!