Is it just another day?

From a pretty young age I was taught that birthdays are no big deal. In my picture albums there is one picture from my childhood that was me in front of a cake. I was probably only 7 or 8 years old and the only kids were my cousins that are the same age. I was a shy kid and we moved often with my parents’ job so I did not have many friends and what is the point of having a party without friends. I did have plenty of acquaintances and when I turned 21 decided to have my own party. It was at my dad’s house and it was a fun day and night pool party. There were people there that I haven’t seen in years. Remnants of it even lingered the day after in the ditch around the corner. My lasting memory was the burns on the bottom of my foot after stepping on two cigarette butts.

As I aged the celebrations were less frequent but I could always count on a card from my grandma with a few dollars in it and one from my mom with a $100 bill in it, always saying something like “This is not for paying bills or buying groceries, it’s just for you and just for fun.”

On my 29th birthday then boyfriend decided it would be fun to have a block party on my birthday and I thought it was a neat idea as not many gatherings have that neighborly feel. Little did I know I would be doing all of the cooking for over 100 people that visited that night. We had a pig roast and what seemed like a ton of sides and since it was a birthday I made the half sheet cake Happy Birthday Gibson, my nephew with the birthday the day after mine. We got a permit and blocked the street off like in an old movie. I found myself sitting in the middle of the street talking about nothing special with people that I had seen every day for the last 10 years but probably couldn’t tell you the name of 75% of them. There were some language barriers and the range in age of the guests ended up being 1 to 85 from all parts of the world. We visited until the early morning when everyone wandered home safely on foot and the air was let out of the bounce house. After that night at least to me I felt safer in my home than I ever had in the past and special to have a neighborhood I could be proud to live.

So, the answers to the question of “do I like a book or a bash”? There is a time and place for everything and I would not trade any of my memories in for the hope of something better.

 

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