When I was growing up, my mom did her best to make our birthdays special. Since there were seven of us kids, we didn’t get a lot of individual attention—except on our birthdays. Mom made a wonderful orange chiffon cake with pineapple icing, all from scratch. We had candles and singing and gifts. With seven kids, money was stretched to the limit. So birthday gifts, while special, weren’t extravagant. My favorite gifts were always books. Nancy Drew ranked high. As I grew older, Mom would buy a special Sanders birthday cake with buttercream icing, ground nuts around the sides. Yum.
For my kids’ birthdays, I learned how to decorate their cakes using Wilton cake pans. They had Strawberry Shortcake and Raggedy Ann, Big Bird, even Darth Vader. It’s a wonder I didn’t get carpal tunnel from making little stars with canned chocolate frosting. We made a big deal out of their birthdays, just like my mom did. And my family reciprocated with Hubs' birthdays and mine.
So how did I spend my birthday this year? Babysitting the grandkids at their house. (A continuation of the week when Hubs and I had to get them off to school that I blogged about on the 30th.) Always fun, unless the five-year-old starts running a fever. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night. And of course, I couldn’t find a thermometer or children’s Tylenol. Eventually, I found a chewable pain reliever that in small print said fever reducer. Dad was at a medical conference and Mom was incommunicado at a camp without cellular service. But I managed. Thank goodness for Hubs who took care of the dogs (3 of them) and kept an eye on the kids—while watching football—so I could take a nap. Grandson is fine. Not so sure about his grandma. LOL
Prior to that adventure, I was treated to dinner by daughter and her family. And my five-month-old granddaughter sent flowers from Arizona. Very clever girl. According to her dad (our son) they’re going to have to keep an eye on her. She took a credit card from his wallet and went shopping online. She even wrote the loveliest letter. As I said, very clever for a kid so young. <g>
I love the celebrations. Most years, they extend nearly all month with lunches out with my sister and girlfriends, cards and phone calls. When Hubs asked the perennial question “What do you want for your birthday?” I said I wanted to go up north to see the colors. Surprisingly, he said he was going to suggest that. After forty-three years, I guess we know each other.
The only fly in the ointment is that I’m a year older. Yuck. Mentally, I’m still in my twenties. Thirties, maybe. My body tells a different story. Oh, to have the energy and enthusiasm of those earlier days but the wisdom of age. I’d tell my younger self to enjoy the moment. Not to always rush through whatever I was doing and to stop looking toward what’s next. Just enjoy the journey.
So even though I started later than I should have, I’m enjoying the journey.
Diane Burton writes romantic adventure . . . stories that take place on Earth and beyond. She blogs here on the 8th and 30th of each month and on Mondays on her own site: http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/