Tomorrow is my birthday and I’ve been reflecting on all my other 36 Birthdays.
I grew up in a house where birthdays were celebrated big. Not big in today’s standards, but big in the children of the 80’s / early 90’s standards. It was all about me from sun up to sun down. I woke up to singing by all 3 in my nuclear family. They all sang it different but they always blended.
Opening presents before school at the kitchen table, maybe my dad would come eat with me for school lunch some years, if not, mama put a note in my strawberry shortcake or rainbow brite lunchbox (with thermos) and the evening meant presents from grandparents and aunts that came by mail. I got to pick my supper and on the monumental years I could invite a friend to go out with us.
I remember getting a 10 speed for my 10th bday and riding it out of the Walmart in the Quarry shopcenter ( when it was THE Walmart.) The patentals had put it on lay away so I got to release it from hostage and ride it from the stockroom to the car. Hello…big time. I rode it down to the cove in front of our house to show my cute and fellow garbage pail collector friend named Chris, and I fell over the front of the bike into their yard while his family sat watching from their bay window and his dad had to come dry my tears and help me up. All while my nuclear 3 watched from our yard. Humility was ever present in my childhood.
When I was 11 I got to take “ole Erica from the block” to Juan’s with us (Julie, is your mouth watering now? Mama are you gagging?) and I received a fabulous, large Kirk Cameron poster. I still picture it like yesterday. I so loved that boy before he even loved Jesus like he does.
I had a sleepover when I turned 13 with a random group of girls and we “walked the mall” and waited up to watch Julie get her goodnight kiss on the porch through the crack of the curtains and laughed until she came in yelling for Mama to make us stop (Daddy was broadcasting an away football game. I’m sure he wished me Happy Birthday at his sign off. He always did sweet things like that.)
I remember going to Tulsa to eat at Casa Bonita while Daddy whacked the moles for prize tickets and then off to Toys R Us to spend birthday money. I bought real roller skates and glow in the dark spoke charms for my purple huffy (must have been before my 10th b’day)
When I turned 16 I got to drive to pick up Melissa and Rachel for Red Lobster on a school night in the Corsica, our family car. Hello, cool! Mama said “don’t you drive down wildcat mountain road. You go all the way down Rogers and turn by the Old Mill” Mama, in case you never knew… I forgot up you told me that until I was halfway down wildcat mountain road and I almost peed my pants from fright. I still tense up reliving it. I made it though. (That street has a real name I’m sure. But I only knew it as that)
I remember great fun and a few parties but nothing like we plan for our kids in this era. I felt just as special as any child could feel. I always had cake with candles and my mama or granny usually made it. I was important, celebrated, valued and a gift to my family. It still makes my heart swell. I loved my honest, neighborhood feel good movies are made about, working class, Jesus loving childhood. I love how my family reminded me how special and valued I was to them because I was just simply born. We are all specially designed by the Maker of life and bring value to our families in our own special way. What a joy to know that in every fiber of my being and to feel that all my life. Thanks to my people for always celebrating me for exactly who I am…little ole me.
(I want to do a post about the childhood sister and I had soon, so I’ll save the rest of the rant for that.)
1 more day of 36. Man, that sounds old!