Saturday, October 28, 2017

Family Search 52 Stories Week 38

Today is my birthday, so I chose a writing prompt this week that deals with birthday celebrations.

How were birthdays celebrated when you were growing up?

mom, holding me, with brother Joe
This question made me think about the day I was born, and so I did a little research. I remember my mom telling me that she missed her baby shower, so I must have arrived a little earlier than expected. I was born at 4:36 in the afternoon on Friday, October 28th. The weather in Cincinnati, while cloudy, was an unseasonably warm 71 degrees. On that day 320,000 babies, including Bill Gates, were born around the world. I wonder how many of them are still alive after 22,646 days have passed? Eisenhower was president, and the top song in the nation was "Autumn Leaves" by pianist Roger Williams. It hit Billboard's number one spot on October 29th. Williams died in October of 2011. I'll think about him when "the falling leaves drift by the window..."

Birthdays were not a big deal in my house as I recall. In looking through old family photos, there is exactly one picture of a birthday party celebrating my sister, and none for the rest of us. Cards, gifts, and even cakes were not the norm. My sister probably did the most for me on my birthday, as she took me to see The Sound of Music and gave me gifts such as my first camera and a skate board, both of which I still have to this day.

The only birthday party I remember is one I threw for myself. In my sophomore year of high school I invited my three best girlfriends over and we played pool and had snacks and soft drinks in our finished basement in Des Moines. They gave me the highly desired new Jackson 5 album. It is even now in my collection of LPs.

Was it because my parents grew up during the depression that they perhaps felt birthdays were frivolous celebrations? Did their own parents do nothing for birthdays? I don't know the answer. But things were different in my husband's family. Birthdays were and are a time for family and fun, with cake, ice cream, cards and presents. Once he and I became a family, his traditions carried on first with us and later with our children. Even though they are grown and living on opposite coasts, we send them a card with cash and call them on their birthdays.

Everyone's day of birth should be honored in some way. Happy birthday to me!
October 2016

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

Well happy birthday to you! You 'n' Bill, that's a fun fact. You and the cake look fabulous together; what's in the box?