Thursday, September 12, 2013

Celebrating Life

On my 30th birthday, a certain male in my family bought 30 roses with 30 vases.  I woke up to find them all over the house.  He also made a fantastic chocolate chip cookie cake, since I prefer cookies to cake any day.

Then my family came over and everyone stared at the Patriots contend in the playoffs, cookie cake in hand, while I kept the kids from consuming the rest of the ice cream.

That's probably the birthday memory that makes me chuckle the most, both for its stellar and absurd elements.  You see... I pretty much straight-up _hate_ football... I really wish I didn't.  I want to be happily screaming at a TV like my hubby.  But outside of a personal amazing story about one of the players who wants to win in memory of his mother's cousin's friend or something... I can't care.

In large part, my football apathy probably stems from having no TV growing up and never getting used to hours watching absurdly overpaid guys fight over a ball like squirrels over a nut.

My ignorance of the sport extended into college, when I was invited to a Superbowl Party.  I inhaled my tea laughing.  Laughed harder when I was told that was the name of the final football competition of the year.

"Okay, I know what the World Series is... But football has super BOWLS?  I'd prefer a plate.  That's ridiculous people...  I mean, I know I was homeschooled and all--it's hilarious--but I don't know how you expect me to believe that..."

So, I was like (really) not raised with football.  At all.

But now that I "get it"... I still don't.  I mean, the players aren't even from the region that they are playing for... we're all like "Go Pats!" over here when half of them are from CA... sigh.  And... I've just lost all my male readers... Guys, I'm trying!  I sit through at least 10 minutes of a fourth quarter every season, I do.  Be impressed... (?)

Maybe I just need the right kind of beer and wings?  I will accept recommendations...

Speaking of beer: second standout birthday memory is how I celebrated my 21st birthday at college: no one knew about it, and I went to classes as usual. (I think single girls got the serenades; once you were "dating" that didn't happen). Just before midnight when my birthday ended, my (then) boyfriend (who had been busy all day) showed up with a warm Corona and said,

"Oh yeah: happy birthday!  You can drink this now."  :D

In case my football comments have incensed or alarmed you too much: after a day of commemorating the fallen, today's topic is (actually) on new life: birthday memories.

Given my past experiences and the wisdom gleaned through my advancing years, I now plan my own birthdays.  It takes serious planning to make January happy.  Your presents are wrapped in leftover red and green, everyone is exhausted by Christmas, gloomy about winter, and generally "not feeling it." I thought I had it bad until I met my husband, whose birthday is on a worse day: January 3rd.  Which is "Christmas vacation is over get back to work day" every year.  People born in January should simply move the day to June, there should be a legal way to do that....

Okay, okay... I'm supposed to tell you my favorite birthday memories... I remember my third birthday. (I do!)  My mom is definitely a "party person."  At the time, she had put a large sombrero on the ground and we were doing "The Mexican Hat Dance."  And pin the tail on the donkey.  Cake and ice cream, always with ice cream.

And that's pretty much how I celebrated my birthday, always with a family party, until I went to college.  Christendom had a tradition at the time that ladies were serenaded at midnight on their birthdays.  So the guys would get permission to be out after curfew (yeah, we had curfew), and troupe en masse across to the girls' side of campus and start singing under her dorm window.

As the bookish, fresh out of homeschool freshman that I was, bedtime was at nine.  I was sound asleep when my roommate woke me up in a frenzy of excitement, telling me: "There are ALL THESE BOYS OUT THE WINDOW COME LOOK!"

Confusion turning to alarm, I blanched, grabbed a bathrobe, checked the mirror, and looked two stories down at a crowd of young men singing happy birthday to me.  I just blushed and smiled while my roommate hooted happily.

I'm grinning now thinking about it.

To make up for the dreary month, I now just tell people when my birthday is...  used to think that was obnoxious but now, I mean, let them eat cake, right?  After years of going through my birthday without telling anyone what day it was and, despite myself, drowning a wee bit in self-pity... you know, silence is pointless.  My birthday is January 20, inaugural day.  Mark your calendars: the forecast is for freezing rain and floods of slush, so we're going to meet at Dave and Busters or lazer tag or a spa or something.  :D  You will likely find me wearing my kids' dollar store medallion "Birthday Girl!" and passing out cupcakes.  Cuz that's how I'm gonna roll from here out...

We should all celebrate the day God brought us into the world, with our moms working really hard for that too...  It's a big deal to begin the missions we are given, and that's what we did that day.  I love celebrating birthdays.

And I always give my mom a rose on my birthday.
Me, almost 3, with my mom and rose
Because seriously, I didn't do much back then... Birthdays should totally occur with "Birth-giving" days, giving a nod to the ladies who made the day possible.  For real.

Today I'm blogartying over fellow writer Kimberly Smith, who is graciously hosting this month's challenge here.  To you Kimberly, and everyone whose birthday I've missed:  I'm so glad to be sharing 2013 with you!  May you always know how very precious you are, how much you are loved, and how vitally important your God-given purpose is in this world.  I celebrate you today.

"You are precious and honored in My sight." Isaiah 43:4


  1. I love the little sailor dress! Now that I'm collecting baby clothes for my due-in-October baby, I'm definitely drawn to the nautical look. :-)

    I can sympathize about the football. At my baby shower, we were supposed to ID celebrity baby pictures, and I didn't know who Peyton Manning is...not even the adult version.

  2. I am loving this post! My husband's birthday is in January too. I never even thought about football players not even being from the town they are representing. I have never been crazy about football either, but have gotten in the spirit since the year the Saints won the Superbowl. But I only watch the Saints. The rest of it--I leave to my husband. Love the line about plates instead of bowls. This is such a refreshing take because of your upbringing. I can see the resemblance between you and your mother. So sweet of you to speak to me personally. I have really enjoyed connecting with you during this challenge, Kate.