Thursday, April 14, 2011

What will today bring?

I was six years old and in our living room was a big black garbage bag full of my birthday presents. It was ugly and beautiful at the same time because I knew that every item in it was for me, to celebrate my birth. I stretched my body out on the carpet in front of that bag, staring at the odd corners and panels of the wrapped presents as they poked at me, temptingly. My mother relented to my nonstop questions and let me open one gift. The first birthday gift I remember. It was a set of bangle bracelets and hair combs in rainbow plastic. I found one last comb in my bathroom drawer when I was moving out of my parents house. I remember none of the other tempting gifts in that bag.

I was ten, finally at a critical age that I had been looking forward too. I use to watch Shirley Temple movies as often as they came on AMC. In The Little Princess, she makes a comment about turning ten and says that she is finally in the double digits. I squirreled away that phrase for years, and right after I blew all ten candles out on my cake, I declared ( just like Shirley) I am FINALLY in the double digits! My Dad laughed and laughed, my mom sliced my cake and piled all ten candles on the side for me to lick the icing off of.

I was fourteen and having a sleepover. It was perfect in that Sweet Valley High way. My friends, fun movies, Ojai boards and ghost stories. I had only requested one thing, an ice cream cake. My mom picked it up and because she had just stocked up the freezer she placed the frozen cake in the fridge instead of making space in the freezer. When it came time to cut the cake, we took it out of the fridge, popped open the pink bakery box and a flood of melted ice cream and ruined icing flowers flowed off the counter and onto the floor. We let our dog eat up the mess. I think I still am mad about that cake.

I was sixteen, my first birthday with a boyfriend ( Casey). In between drama and math I went to his locker to retrieve a book. His locker was in the middle of the campus and my was buried by the weight lifting room, so I used his locker for all of my junior year. I opened the door with its squeaky hinge and inside was a single rose, pink and yellow, perfect. Later there was dinner in front of the fireplace with a meal he cooked himself and his sweet family trying to sneak by on the way to the garage so we could celebrate alone. I still remember the smile on my (now) brother in laws little face at the candle light and fire place.

I was twenty one and finally able to order a drink, legally. I went to an Irish pub, ordered a Black and Tan, spit it out, and promptly ordered a strawberry margarita. I still can't drink Black and Tans, even though I think I want too. It was early afternoon and the entire day was planned out as a boozey introduction to my new age. I don't remember if we drank ourselves into oblivion, but I do remember placing my perfect pink drink on an old bar coaster in an out of place bar. It was so very like me.

I was twenty three, a new mom, with 2 month old Alex by my side. I remember nothing of the day except laying in my bed with Alex in the early morning, tracing his face and thinking that I was ten years younger than my mom was when she had me. I still think of Alex's birthday as being 2 months and a smidge more before mine.

I was thirty and not quite stressing about changing the first digit of my age, but stressing a little bit. I was leaving my twenties, sad to lose that youth. But I had done SO MUCH in my twenties, had a baby, got married, moved to Texas, bought a house, started our own business, but all of a sudden I was thirty. That number stuck in my head for months and months. A label of age. All of a sudden wrinkles, weight, mom jeans, and thinking that I was old was on my mind.

Last year I was thirty three, a birthday that is non monumental, just a number, a neatly organized match set number. My day was full of work and tae kwon do for Alex, Casey was on a trip, and my day glazed by. I was at that point when my birthday seemed more like a time to set goals then to celebrate, so I made a list of 33 things to do in my 33rd birth year. I don't even think I tackled a tenth of that list. But oh what fun I had making it!

Today, I am thirty four. And I can't wait to write what the day will bring me.

3 comments:

Cart Ridges 11:03 AM  

What a neat post! Looking forward for more post from you. Thank you for sharing!

Lisa 1:55 AM  

so beautiful....thanks for sharing. birthday magic.....

Nicole (at) Barefoot + Smitten 10:05 AM  

Your memory is amazing. What a neat read! Happy Birthday again! <3

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