Happy Birthday to me!

I found this polaroid at my parents’ house last month.  It was my fifth birthday – I know because there was another picture with the cake and candles.  I’m at my grandparents’ house – the one at their dairy farm, not the newer one up the road.  I remembered the chairs when I saw the picture.  My brother Ryan and I used to have milk drinking races with our uncles – we always had milk straight from the barn in those small blue plastic cups.  At the time, I didn’t know it, but I was learning important life skills for college survival:  I can chug.  And speaking of beer, someone was having one here – my dad or grandpa, probably.  I’m guessing it was Miller High Life.  I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have bangs, but, apparently there was a time.  I’m pretty sure that I got a small treasure chest (out of a cereal box,
no doubt) full of pirate’s booty, including a genuine plastic pearl,
on this birthday.   Ryan promptly took the pearl and stuck it up his
nose.  32 years later, I still hold it against him.  My mom was always good about getting me redheaded dolls and our cakes always had lots of roses on them.  In our family, if you talk while you are eating your first piece of birthday cake, you have to finish it under the table.  That’s a big piece for a five year old!  But I didn’t talk – I know that.  I’ve only done that once and I was twenty-five and out at a nice restaurant with my parents’.  They still made me go under the table.

I wonder what I will remember when I look back on thirty-seven.  Good things, I hope.  That I ate the cake Fatty’s making me while sitting at the table and not under it would be a start.  Fingers crossed and lips sealed.

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