Jul 2, 2006

Remember when?

So it’s been a couple of days now since my 43rd. birthday. Nothing too memorable, except I broke my rule of riding my bike down some insane hill or mountaintop on my birthday. I made this rule up on my 40th. Birthday. I first rode my bike down Federal hill on the big 40. Then we were in Whistler for 41, and 42, so that was easy making my rule stick. This year, not the case. First of all, any hill or mountaintop in my range would have been soaking wet. And I just didn’t feel like getting wet anymore after a very long weekend at White Tail. So, what is one to do? I went to the YMCA where to my surprise, I had my first machine birthday greeting. When I pulled my card through the entrance gate, the turnstile belted in a deep voice: ”Happy Birthday”!
So this really got me thinking about the whole meaning of birthdays and celebrations and how they have change, as one gets older. No more family gatherings showering me with presents and birthday cake. I found some old pictures of birthday past. My mother, a retired Elementary school teacher, use to throw the best parties. She made the hats and the games. I remember this one game where each person was blindfolded and had to follow a string that came from a poster of an octopus, that mother drew in her best elementary teacher drawing skills. You followed the string to the end, and some where close to the end of the string was a present! You had to grope around the ground until you found the wrapped gift. I believe in the one picture you can see her with me grasping her arm, as we play pin- the tail-on- the -donkey. I think this was my sister’s party, not mine, But I love this photo. How dressed up we got to grope around in the dirt! The other pictures are of my 9th. And 10th. Birthdays and one of my bday cakes. Cakes then had ceramic figurines that you could have for life to remember your special day. During these two birthdays, I received gifts that were two of my favorite. The only thing they had in common were the orange red plastic material that they were both made of. My grandmother is holding the one on her lap. A transistor radio the form of a sphere. It had a chain with a ring on it in which one could hold on to as one gets up on top of the monkey bars at school. A favorite pass time of the cool girls of the fifth grade at Catonsville Elementary School. This present is what got me in to the cool group! The other present is the one that I am holding. It was called The Bird, and it was simply a plastic bird that hung from a spring. We use to have it hanging from our light that my sister and I had in our shared attic room. I think it really hurt when it hit you in the head.
Yes, those were the birthday that I am so lucky to have had. Now, they are just as good, just different. I now get cards from Title companies, Victoria Secrets, Banana Republic as well as my tax guy. Dad took Patrick and I out to a very fancy and expensive dinner. They actually honor me with a personalized menu! Patrick gave me absolutely awesome gifts! And my mom, she got her knee replaced on my birthday. She reminince on her two hospital experiences of June 28. At lease the knee won’t be keeping her up at night crying! Let’s hope not.

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