I was thrilled (ok I was downright giddy with excitement) when Stasha asked me to be H.M.F.I.C.O.L. (Head Mother Fabulous In Charge of Listicles) this week. My firecracker of a daughter turned nine and in her honor I asked people to write about birthdays. I'm sure when I came up with the topic I had a plethora of fabulous ideas...all of which escape me now. So I'll just share random memories and thoughts on birthdays.
1. My 18th birthday-I was a pseudo freshmen in college. At the last minute I decided not to go away to school as planned. At the last, last minute I applied and enrolled in 10 hours at our local university. I was living at home & working for the school district which often meant I was back at my high school where I graduated from three months before. I wasn't really sure where I belonged. Some of my best friends planned a celebration but since several of them were still seventeen we couldn't go to any clubs. I don't remember what we did all night but it ended with us eating a cake/pie at a park around midnight. There are plenty of hysterically, embarrassing photos which cannot be found at this time.
2. My 23rd birthday Once upon a time my birthday celebration lasted for a month...and what a month it was! To say I was a recognition whore would be an understatement. Everyone around me did everything I wanted (or at least that's how I remember it). This was the year my friends threw a keg party and used my bra as the party invitation. They selected my prettiest over the shoulder boulder holder, cruised on down to Kinko's (this was during the pre-home computer era) and made color copies with the words "Let it all hang out at Robbie's 23rd birthday bash." I made many new friends that year.
3. My 30th birthday By some miracle, Big Yankee was able to take time off for my birthday-not an easy feat for a sports editor during football season. We went to Laughlin Nevada to hear one of my favorite country music legends in concert-TANYA TUCKER. Ten months later my belated birthday present arrived when Einstein made his debut.
4. Peanut's 1st birthday My parents drove twenty hours to be at their only granddaughter's celebration. Big Yankee baked and decorated an adorable ladybug birthday cake. All her daycare friends were there to celebrate. Big Yankee and I had a weekend getaway to Vegas planned...our first trip alone in two years.Three days later we got the call that my grandmother had died and we scrambled to coordinate travel from California to New York.
5. My 40th birthday I had taken the day off and Big Yankee and I went to lunch somewhere that I don't recall. I was at Target feeling pathetic for buying Clairol Nice N' Easy to cover my rapidly increasing gray hair when Big Yankee's cell phone rang. He was told he didn't get a job we thought should have been his. Twenty two days later he resigned a dreadful job and accepted one out of state. And that was the beginning of our commuter marriage and our fractured family.
6.Stinkbug's 4th birthday A few days earlier my dad had gone to the ER with an upper respiratory infection and was admitted as a precaution. I took some time off work to go down and visit him. things went from bad to worse. He ended up in the ICU and we thought we were going to lose him. Big Yankee was out of state on a business trip and I was a basketcase. Dad insisted we go ahead with the birthday party and on our way out of town we stopped at the hospital so he could give StinkBug his present. A year and a half later my boy still talks about this in great detail. Dad was released a few days later.
7. I am very much against passing out a cheap bag of crap as a party favor. My kids detest the term goody bag. I am not opposed to giving away a token of thanks though. One year we gave out bug books thanks to my Scholastic Book Club Bonus points. Another year it was glow stick bracelets and bubbles....which can be used up and tossed out without drama.
8. As a kid I always requested a spice cake with coffee frosting which is rather odd because as an adult I ONLY eat chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and the mere smell of coffee disgusts me.
9. Growing up we only had "friend" birthdays every other year and we were allowed to invite our age plus 1. When I turned six I had seven guests. On the years we didn't have a friend party the birthday kid got to choose where to go out to eat. We NEVER went out to eat or had fast food. One year I chose Red Lobster and my brother and sister threw a huge fit so Dad took them to the Golden Arches and I had all you can eat seafood.
10. When Einstein was 2 1/2 he INSISTED we make a porcupine birthday cake for Big Yankee..except he kept calling it a pinecone cake. I am a reader of recipe books and Einstein loved to imitate me and became obsessed with a cake book I had.