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A Yankee Doodle Day- Happy Birthday to me!

July 4, 2012

You may not be over the hill yet, but you have a great view!

    When I was young , and unfortunately not so young that I can’t still remember, my parents secured a  home-made  poster board sign  to my shirt and off we went to the annual Forth of July parade better known to most as the Barnum Festival Parade   as we did every year.  Now a sign on your neck when you are pre-teen is not cool, despite what my folks thought, announcing to the community that I was a “Yankee Doodle Dandy born on the Forth of July” with a hand drawn picture of an American flag – was traumatic, um not a positive experience. Yes, I have never considered myself to be either a doodle or a dandy, yes  a Yankees fan for sure  but  my birthday happens to fall on July 4th.   Kind of cool as its easy to remember , kind of not great as you never have an in school party or get to bring cup cakes and pass them out in school.   It’s nice to have the day off as most places of work  are “closed” on the fourth – in honor of  me 🙂  ( as  nurse I actually often liked to work the forth, time and a half-pay – and the anonymity of the day being my birthday was pretty awesome).  Now, don’t get me wrong, I like birthdays, I just have never been a huge fan of my own.   Falling on the fourth of July meant a picnic for many people coming to the house and the stress of shopping, cooking, cleaning and generally waiting on other people on your special day.  So, my life lesson to myself ( will be a future post my obsession with “life lessons”)  was/is  to create as best I could in my power  that the day would be about celebrating the birthday boy or girl and  not about any other agenda.   Hopefully,  it was accomplished.  Certainly was easier when they were young and lived at home but we have made good, hopefully – non traumatic memories around birthday celebrations, despite the fact that Becca and Skip almost “share” a birthday.  We tried to make the day   a celebration of you with limited or non-existent  agenda … except for some times yeah, when Becca’s birthday fell on Easter, or Dan’s always close to Halloween and trick or treating, and Kristen’s on the day we decided to pack up our house and move before we renovated…    Most of the time though it was filled with decorations ( the time I fell and broke my ribs while pregnant with Kristen so I could put up streamer’s for Becca’s third birthday),  cake and lots of gifts and good memories…. I hope.

But if I circle  back to me and my birthday “agenda” memories for a few.   My own was not all bad, trust me.   Despite the trauma of  wearing the sign  at the parade ( oh yes the lieutenant governor of  Connecticut stopped the parade to get out of his car to shake my hand and wish me a happy birthday  resulting in permanent mortification for me.   Birthday’s should be good memories and I have many.   My mom and dad always bought me Italian  Del Pretz cake with strawberry filling and whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.   (It was so delicious that my wedding cake was the same basic cake, minus the sprinkles ).   There were always cards on my day which I love and still do today.   Big shout out to Hallmark!!   My parents always sang to me and always tried to be the first one to call and I miss my mom’s voice  harmonizing   with my dad though my dad still calls me and does a great job.  I remember getting no longer in fashion go-go boots and a Nehru collar jacket ( also no longer in fashion) but wonderful none the less.  I remember receiving  hand-made cards and gifts and the wonderful overly generous gifts from my husband are wonderful happy memories.    Of all the things I have received the times we can spend together making more memories  is the best gift.  On my birthday I will receive cards and calls and gifts, even at my age and be made to feel undeservedly special by so many people.    Birthdays are a good thing.   The alternative to not having them is pretty grim. When your birthday rolls around, I hope it is filled with the wonderful things that will make good memories.    I  thank you  for all the birthday wishes.   I appreciate them more than you know.


From → Happy Birthday

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