Monday, July 19, 2010

Ballerina Girl

When I was a child we didn't have birthday parties like kids do now.

No one had ponies, clowns, laser tag or moon bounces.

At least in my family, birthdays were typically much more low key and were usually spent quietly at home.    

And as the youngest of four I remember having exactly one party.

It was at our favorite park in Columbiana, a small Ohio town, and all of my relatives on my mom's side were there.

Grandma Ginny, Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Norman, my parents, siblings and assorted cousins.  

It was probably the best birthday I ever had because for just one great summer day it was all about me!

My cake was adorned with ballerinas, I got to drink my own bottle of Pepsi and my single present, a Barbie dream house was truly a dream come true!   
(Yes, I was still playing with Barbies at 9!)

It's one day from my childhood that when I close my eyes I can still see and feel all of the details of that special day.

It was one of those beautiful blue sky cloudless days!

The pavilion was all ours and we spent the day swimming, playing horseshoes and pushing each other on the swings.   

And most shocking of all, my siblings were actually nice to me!  
(Although my memory is probably fuzzy on that detail!)

It was my birthday and for one day I truly felt special.   

That day was 40 years ago today.   

Today's birthday has a decidedly different feel.  

I spent much of it at the DMV renewing my driver's license in the company of my children and 200 complete strangers.

After surviving that we ventured to Chipotle for my birthday lunch.  

At which I paid.   

Followed up by ice cream through the drive through of McDonald's.

Where I paid again.  

But you know what?

I may not have ballerinas, Barbies or my family's undivided attention today, but I wouldn't trade today's celebration for anything.

My priorities have changed since I was 9.

It doesn't have to be about me anymore.

The truth is, I'm happy to be alive!   

And every day is a gift!   

Happy birthday to me!

Photo of my oldest brother, Brian and I on my birthday.  
Circa 1970!


Cassie Bustamante said...

happy birthday to you! i just tried take the cake ice cream from edy's- slow churned and half the fat. treat yourself to that- it is AMAZING!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Gail! I hope you're having a great day.

d said...

you only get better

Beans and Buttons said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TROUBLE!! I missed you this weekend!! Our birthdays are only a week apart! We could almost be twins! ;) Hope to see ya soon!

Donna said...

Happy Birthday my friend! I love the picture of 9 year old YOU! That's three of us...my birthday is this weekend...we could have had a barn birthday party!

Silk&Burlap said...

Happy Birthday Gail. Beautiful post as always. Like you.
A toast to you.

junkermidge said...

What a great post and a great sentiment. Happy Birthday to you, and many, many more!