This is me on my 4th birthday at my “Bike Parade” birthday party. This is a “before” picture.
My mom was very big into themed birthday parties. One year, I had a “Chinese Ladies” birthday party. She dressed all of the party-goers up in kimonos, painted our faces with pale powder, bright red lips, and slanty eyes. Really.
Another year, it was a “Fancy Ladies Dinner Party.” My mom and dad dressed up like a maid and butler and served a very formal dinner to us in our dining room, complete with the “yes, mam’s” and “no, mam’s” and sparkling apple cider in champagne flutes. At least they didn’t paint their faces black. My granny used to have parties where they dressed up as black people. Seriously. It was California in the 1960’s and, apparently, they thought the Watts Riots were something made up by the Democrats.
Anyway, my 4th birthday was a relatively inoffensive “Bike Parade” theme, probably because I got a brand new big ‘ol tricycle that year. We spent some time decorating our bikes with floppy tissue paper flowers and proceeded to ride them down the sidewalk, with the birthday girl proudly leading the parade. We rode all the way down to the corner. When we stopped at the corner, my parents helped everyone turn their bikes around in place so we could head back home. As we were doing this, it quickly became clear to me that the birthday girl was now at the back of the parade. The very back.
You just can’t hype a girl up with a pimped out new trike and expect her not to fall apart at this awful turn of events. I mean, I was at the END of the parade. What did they expect? Fortunately, there are no “after” pictures of me that day. It was not pretty, I assure you. Honestly, I don’t know if I will ever get over that trauma. See, I still have to talk about it.
Maybe this is why I really like my birthday. Probably more than an adult should. I try not to make a big deal out of it, but I really do love my special day. I do little special things for myself and I always get myself a present, so that I don’t really mind if no one else gets me one.
I love getting to be the next year older. (Now that “older” really does mean older, I am hoping I can keep feeling this way!) I have always thought about what the new age I am turning looks like, what it means, what it does. I like leaving behind the old age and feeling all of the possibility of the new age. 47 feels really different from 46. I think this is going to be a good year.
P.S. If you want to wish me a happy birthday, you can pass a link to my blog onto some friends or subscribe to it via your email. That would be a really nice! Thanks!!!