October is my favorite month & 13 my favorite number. Can you guess why?
I grew up believing my birthday was worthy of celebration and like many of my middle class peers, birthday parties were de rigueur. I never had one of those Little Lord Fauntleroy parties replete with pony and chocolate fountain. But my folks were pretty indulgent, at least compared to my friends’ parents. I was allowed to plan my parties myself, right down to the guest list. And because I was greedy, this meant inviting as many kids as I could. One gift per kid x many kids = CHA-CHING! Don’t judge; who doesn’t like presents?
Preparations would begin weeks in advance, as I mulled over possible themes for the party. We would make a pilgrimage to the store to select goodie bags, paper plates, balloons and streamers. My mom, always generous, would let me pick whatever
I wanted was deemed acceptable. After that we’d visit the bakery to order the cake. Fozzie Bear was a particular favorite.
Onto the all-important staging. Would the party be held at our house? The roller rink? Would it be a SLEEPOVER?! As one year outdid the last, my birthday parties took on a sort of life of their own, culminating in a third grade slumber party that still lives on in infamy. All of the girls in my class were invited, plus other friends. Imagine thirty 8- & 9-year olds, hopped up on candy and caffeine. Now picture my parents at 2 am when my friends had split into warring factions and the party was most definitely OVER.
My birthday parties morphed over time. At 16, a dear friend organized a surprise party for me and another best friend at her house. Which was AMAZING! Though I wish my sister hadn’t told me about it beforehand…. In my early 20s my folks were still spoiling me with toys but instead of dolls or video games, it was fat (phat) tires and rims for my Jeep Wrangler.
I met my (now) husband just before I turned 25. You might think the parties ended, but in a way they’d only just begun. Today is my 39th birthday. I am older than I’ve ever been and I love my life now more than ever. Each birthday is a reminder of who I am, where I am and where I’ve been. At 39, I have so many amazing people in my life, a loving family, and thanks to this blog, friends around the world. Thank you for celebrating with me.