Reflections on Yet Another Birth-day

And today is my birthday. Today I turn 26.

I feel old. I know that is terrible to say especially since there are many older than me but, I think I say it because I feel like I have lived a long life.

When I was little, I used to dream of the day when I would be  10, then 15, then 16, then of course 21. Now I really would like the birthdays to come and go without a hoorah.

Its interesting if you think about it;we celebrate the day we were born each year. The question is why? Is it ‘ Yay, we survived another year?’ or is it ‘ How wonderful the earth is with me on it, let us celebrate having this loved one in our lives.’

I never really ‘got’ the concept of birthdays. Was it Hallmark who really made them exciting? Perhaps its the gifts? It must be the gifts. The last birthday gift I can really remember nearly jumping out of my skin with excitement for was the Kirsten American Girl doll at my 13th birthday. My mother decided to throw me an impromtu party. I fear that it was due to the fact that I hadn’t had one since I was 2 or 3. In any case, the theme of the party was pointe shoes.  Everything was adorned with pointe shoes.

My grandmother had asked me, what do you want for your birthday? Back then, I had answers. I perused the Amercian Girl catalog and doggeared the pages that I wanted. I was torn between the beautifully blonde and simple Kirsten, and the dashingly delightful brunette Samantha. Now I am not sure if you are familar with these dolls, they are like 100$ and are very pretty to a little girl. They have sets of clothing like pinafores and props like cherry cakes and teacarts. They are divine.

I remember getting to the party. My mother told me beforehand to act surprised. So I did, and I deserved an emmy moreover an academy award. I walked in and a few relatives shouted, ‘ Surprise!’ and I guess I was surprised. Surprised that I was very excited about this birthday party. My eyes eagerly panned the room with excitement searching for that long box which would contain my beloved doll. There it was, sitting ever so neatlyon the fireplace stoop.

We had to get through dinner and birthday cake before I could open the box. I made sure we hurried. When it was time to open presents I opened every other present first before the illustrious box. I recieved photobooks, cards with money, an outfit from ‘ The Limited’ and a few other things. It was time to open the box, I remember my palms sweating and feeling like it was the most special day I had ever lived through.

I peeled the floral paper back ever so slightly. The box was white and shiny; I peeled back the tape that kept the box closed. I opened the lid and pulled back the tissue paper gently. There was her smiling face. She had such a beautiful face. I remember stroking her blonde hair and thinking, I wish I had hair like that, then I would be happy. She wore a beautiful  high collar cotton blue dress with a crisp apron. Around her neck was a beautiful amber heart necklace. She came with a book all about her life in the New World and her trip from Sweden. I loved her instantly.

I also recieved her birthday outfit, a beautiful pink and white checked dress with apron and a crown of daisys. She also had a winter outfit, with a heavy felt skirt, perfect for snowshoeing!

To be honest, I have no idea where she resides today. I feel terrible about it as she was so important to me. She is either in my basement amongst my childhood things or in my little sisters closet as Kate recieved a lookalike doll named Kate. Kirsten and Kate had many a teaparty.

Today I woke up with a new doll in my arms, my 5 month old beautiful gurgling baby boy. He is the greatest gift I have ever recieved.

I will look back fondly on this birthday, as this is the first birthday he and I have shared together. No need for cards, clothes or dolls, I have my little baby boy.

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