Saturday, January 8, 2011
Thanks Mom & Daddy!
Yep-it is moi's birthday today! And if I sound excited about that fact, it's 'cause I truly am!
I have always adored birthdays! Mine, yours, relatives, friends, the kid down the street, co-workers, friends of friends, my teachers, friends family members, pets and Elvis's (which is also today, by the way!) Birthdays arethe ultimate holiday, if you ask me! I so enjoy the opportunity to celebrate someone I like, love, care about and (myself included!) and make sure that they know how important they are in my life and to this world, and how very glad I-and many others are- that they were born!
Although my birthday is exactly 2 weeks after THE BIG DAY (Christmas!), my parents never let the anniversary of my special day go by without making sure I got the royal treatment! (even more so than the usual daily royal treatment I received from them...I must admit that being an only child definitely had its perks!)
I have lots of awesome birthday memories, but there are two very favorites which come to mind...
The first is from my 5th birthday. I don't remember much about the little party that was thrown in my honor other than what I can see from a grainy old black and white "Swinger" instant camera photo I still have (but cannot seem to locate right now!) There were a few of my little friends, my much older "cousin" Joy, and of course, my parents, helping me celebrate. We are seated around the kitchen table, and they are watching me about to blow out the tiny pastel colored striped candles on my cake. All I really remember when I see that photo is my wish as I blew. I wished that I could keep the sweet, frilly, fragile ceramic Mary and her little lamb decoration that graced the top of the little cake. Ahhh...such a simple wish, that of my 5 year old self!
A much bigger wish came true on my 16th birthday...
My parents picked me up from cheerleading practice after school, and as our house came into view, I was shocked and elated to see, parked in our front yard with a giant bow wrapped around it, my very first car:
a bright green, 1969 Dodge Charger (yes, just like the General Lee for all you DOH fans...),
sporting "glass pacs and 383 HP"...terms that meant nothing to me until the first time I drove it to school...for yes, although always liked well enough in high school by members of all cliques and classes, I suddenly became EXTREMELY popular with about 99.9% of the male students!)
Did I mention that I was a much adored daddy's girl?
It was his idea to get me this over-the-top car for me...and would you believe that they paid just under $800 for it?! I suppose that might have been considered a fortune for a 9 year old car back then, (1976), but oh how I have often wished over the ensuing years that I still had that car (which, if sold today, could probably cover more than a few mortgage payments!)
My daddy had been "teaching" me how to drive since I was in about 3rd grade...I remember him taking me to the huge empty parking lot of the Gem store near where we lived, (way back in the day when people were actually able to survive with the Blue Law still in effect...meaning it was against the law for pretty much any store to be open on Sundays) and letting me sit on his lap and steer as he cruised slowly around and around.
In high school I took the required Driver's Ed. course, which was taught by one of the athletic coaches... I always wondered why it was decided that HE was the most qualified or possessed better driving skills than any other teacher, but soon came to realize that pretty much all he had to do was know how to turn on a projecter to show us those horrific scare-ya-into-driving-straight movies.
Which may explain why it took me three tries to get my drivers licence (weeks after I had gotten the car!)...
I figured I was too cocky the first time (I HAD been driving for some 7 years by then, after all!), po'ed the second time ('cause there even had to BE a second time-see above fact!) and finally just desperate/embarrassed enough to be allowed to drive without a parent in my car to pull it off on try # 3!
So those are just two great memories among the many I have experienced over the past 50 birthday celebrations I have been gifted with! To me, birthdays are just an official excuse to celebrate being alive! I have never really played into the often negative connotation that birthdays bring to so many (esp. those of my sex)...preferring instead to remember the wise words my dear grandma (who enjoyed 99 years on this Earth) always said when people complained about having another birthday:
"consider the alternative".
Which is why, on this, the anniversary of the day I came into being on this Earth, I look forward to celebrating the beginning of my 51st revolution around the sun. And for which the opportunity to do so makes for a very grateful and
Happy Me-Laurie Z