It started out with this little card. I was born on the afternoon of December 10, 1966 – apparently, pretty tiny thing — and my left hip was dislocated. Doctor said that the ball and socket joint hadn’t formed properly, so for the first year or so, I was told that a special “parachute-like” contraption had to be worn to help that set properly. Seems to me, I remember dad telling me that I even learned to crawl and walk with it. Explains that funny “duck walk” thing I have going on.
Of course, it’s not surprising that I don’t remember my first birthday. I do vaguely remember the house we lived in — it was just a few miles from my grandparents. We lived there until I was about three. One winter, there was a tremendous snowfall that made the pine trees bend over to touch the ground. I remember seeing pictures of me and my parents playing in the front yard and building a snowman.
(By the way, don’t you just love my Pops’ shoes? I’ve always had a thing for Hush Puppies loafers…)
As a kid, having a birthday two weeks before Christmas kinda sucked. You always got the “since we’re coming down for Christmas, we’ll just bring your birthday presents then.” But for my sixth birthday, Momma and Granny let me pick whatever decorations I wanted — I chose pink cups and plates with panda bears on them… and a cake with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The coolest thing I remember about that day was picking out my very first wristwatch at the Denton Drug Store. I picked out a Minnie Mouse watch with a yellow band. I wore it EVERYWHERE — even when I took a bath…which explains why it no longer works. But I still have it.
Then, there were the “birthdays gone horribly wrong” — the sleepover guest from my 9th or 10th birthday who peed in my bed, and the 15th birthday party where my friend secretly invited the school bus driver on which I had a tremendous crush (when he asked me how my driver’s license test went, and I told him I had only gotten my LEARNER’s PERMIT, the look on his face told me he was just as mortified as I was). Trying to figure out who managed to pry the shot glass from my just-turned-23-years-old hands and tucked me in bed (I woke up in a Harvey Gant for US Senate t-shirt) and hoping to GOD it was my sister. And finally, the 39th birthday party where my (thankfully now) ex-husband decided to get so drunk that he passed out in the downstairs bathroom, and I ran in to find him face down, with his head almost BEHIND the toilet. With my neighbor’s help, we put him on the sofa, and I spent the remainder of my birthday evening, watching to make sure he was okay. The next morning, he promised he’d never drink like that again — he did, and I left him. Best birthday present I’d had in a long time.
But let’s get back to the good times, shall we?
Like the cake my (thankfully now and hopefully forever) husband made for me for my 44th birthday. Actually, we were still dating at the time. Word has it this was the “second attempt” at baking this cake. It also nearly met an untimely end when he was trying to secretly transport it to the Japanese restaurant where we were celebrating. I thought it was the most exquisite cake in the whole world… and I secretly hoped he’d be celebrating with me for years to come.
Then, there was last year. My 46th birthday. It had been a rather difficult night. My “bonus kids” had moved in with us on a permanent basis about two months earlier, and things weren’t going quite well. I decided it was best if I went and sat on the front porch for a bit. That night was unusually warm for December – I could go barefooted. My best four-legged friend, Mick, came walking out and took his space right beside me. He just sat there, as if to say, “It’s all going to be okay. I’m here if you need me. Happy birthday.”
Mick left us and headed to the Bridge this July — he was a wonderful companion, and I miss him dearly.
So, how did the celebration of my 47th birthday go? Let me run it down for you:
- I woke up and was able to enjoy breakfast with my husband.
- I found a miniature rose plant, balloon and card on the hood of my VW, thanks to the hubs.
- I got an hour-long massage from the best massage therapist in the world, IMHO.
- I got my “hurr did” and had a little glass of wine.
- I stopped in my favorite store and got some new incense and some “Bliss Trip” herbal tea (good stuff, lemme tell ya!).
- I listened to my bonus son’s holiday middle school band concert.
- I received MANY well-wishes from friends and family today, and I’m most appreciative of EVERY one.
… and now, I’m spending some time, doing a little writing to clear out the noggin’ before heading to bed. I ain’t getting any younger, you know.
But not before having a little bit of the key lime pie my Dad gave to me. (Yes, that’s Mister Rogers)
An awesomely Happy Birthday for me.