Monday, January 30, 2012

Memory Lane Monday- Birthdays

My birthday will arrive before I do another Memory Lane Monday, so I think today I'll reminisce a bit about the birthdays I had growing up. I never had birthday parties with friends- well, not the kind my parents planned, though in my teens I did things with friends, but when I was much younger I do remember my grandmother (my mom's mom) always made sure to get me a store bought cake from the grocery. The ones with the shortening frosting and rose buds and fancy piping and the little plastic "Happy Birthday" sign in cursive.

She always tried to make sure she got a "black & blue" cake. For some reason, I deemed chocolate worthy of that distinction, even with the mixed vanilla and chocolate creme sandwich cookies that were always in the cookie jar at my grandparents' house- you know the ones, the grocery store versions that were sort of like Oreos.
I honestly don't know where I got the idea, but it would seem that "Black & Blue" have been following me for the better part of my life and ironically, I realize now that the majority of my color scheme for this blog, my website, my Twitter profile, my tattoos, are in shades of black and blue as well. Perhaps that is significant in a way I cannot comprehend, but I digress...

What do I remember about birthdays, most vividly? Whether my parents bought me a cake or my mom baked one- almost always chocolate, if my birthday were on a school morning, my mom would get me up and make me blow out the candles and make a wish before I got on the bus. And I got to eat CAKE for breakfast. (*Flash* to Bill Cosby's "Dad is great, he let us have chocolate cake!)

I remember sharing my "birthday" with my sister, and vice versa—being it was just us two girls, she would get a small gift on my birthday and I would get one on hers in July.

At my grandparents, someone generally gave me birthday spankings, with "one to grow on." I remember the year my parents got me Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits Volume 2- I WORE that record out. It skips so bad, especially on the last song- Xanadu. I so wanted to be Olivia when I grew up. LOL I remember my grandparents on my dad's side getting me Sleeping Beauty on Disney VHS and we watched it together and I was SHOCKED beyond measure when Maleficent cursed.

When I was 14 or 15 my grandma on my dad's side presented me with a beautifully bound collection of classic novels, Alice in Wonderland, Little Men, Robinson Crusoe, to name a few, but I believe it was a 10-12 book collection (and perhaps I'll touch back on this set of books in a later blog). I believe that was also the same year she presented me with these two beautiful iridescent cat figures.

Also for my 15th birthday, my parents got me a book of poems called To My Daughter with Love on the Important Things in Life by Susan Polis Schutz. My parents wrote a little something inside the book to me and I intend to follow below them, with a note to my daughter and give her that same book on her 15th birthday.

That was also the same year that my father gave me an autographed copy of In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason as a late Christmas present when the construction company he works for built her house. (More on that in a later blog as well.)

I'm sure every birthday has some significance- something more than just aging another year. Each are special in their own way and each either teach us something new about ourselves as we grow, or they gift us with treasures of the heart.

What do you remember about birthdays you've had?
Are there any that stick out more than others, or that hold a special place in your heart?
Please share!

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