Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dear Reader, It's my birthday...

And I've been thinking about past birthdays...

I don't recall any birthday parties from when I was really little, but I do recall Mother making cakes and letting me put the hard candy decorations on them.  I, of course, got first dibs on eating those decorations (a very big deal when you're 1 of 4 kids), and it was always my favorite part.

I remember my 7th birthday, the first birthday I had after my Pop-Pop died (paternal grandfather).  He died 7 days before my birthday, and his funeral was 5 days before my birthday.  The 5th and 7th of January stand out as strongly in my mind as my own birthday does to this very day.  When I found out I was pregnant , and they said January 5th was my due date (which was later changed to the 8th), I was so excited that that day would now be redeemed in my mind! This year when the 5th rolled around, I thought, "Pop-Pop died 26 years ago today".  But I also thought, "Today was Bo's due date."  I like that I think of death and new life on that day now. 

I wish I could go back and tell that 7 year old that she'll never forget her Pop-Pop, even though she was only 7 when he died.

I remember my 10th birthday because that was the birthday I got my first "real jewelry"...a gold ring with my birthstone in it.  I still have it and have been waiting on a niece to be born in January so I can give it to her (no luck yet!).  When I found out January was the month of my due date, I admit that one of my first thoughts was ..."if it's a girl, I'm going to give her my ring on her 10th birthday!".

I wish I could go back and tell that 10 year old that she'll have nieces that will come over and ask to wear that ring, and she'll be so happy to see it on their sweet fingers.

I remember my 13th birthday because my parents gave me a beautiful diamond ring that I loved and wore often.

I wish I could go back and tell that 13 year old that 20 years later she'll still love that ring and wear it often.

I remember my 16th birthday because I got a white pickup (that I loved), and my parents had it in the driveway with a big, red bow around it.

I wish I could go back and tell that 16 year old to hug her parents' necks and apologize for all the worry they must have felt when she'd leave the house in it.

When I was in high school, we usually had a basketball game on my birthday.  It was usually against Lubbock Christian, which would make my stomach get in knots because my on again/off again high school boyfriend went to school there, and I was not well liked by the girls from that school.  Naturally, I always wanted to play well and WIN.

I remember my 18th birthday.  We had a basketball game (and won), and my mom got a cookie cake with my name and a little boy I babysat's name on it (we shared a birthday, and he turned 3 that year).  I just did the math, which means today is his 18th birthday.  That makes me feel so old! 

I wish I could go back and tell that 18 year old to enjoy that cookie cake and the effortless way she was able to maintain her weight in her high school years!

I remember my 19th birthday.  It was the worst birthday of my life.  I was not in a good place.  I distinctly remember my mom asking me what I wanted to do for my birthday, and I said I wanted to pretend it wasn't my birthday because my life was nothing to celebrate.

I wish I could go back and give that 19 year old a big hug and promise her that joy is coming.

In college, I got to be home for my birthday each year because spring semester didn't start until after MLK Day.  I was so glad about that because my family makes a big deal out of birthdays.  I always stopped by my Mammaw's and Grandaddy's on my way back to school, and my Mammaw would have an angel food cake baked for me to take back to school.

I remember my 20th birthday.  It was the first birthday I celebrated with Jonathan in my life, and he got me a beautiful gold bracelet.

I wish I could go back and tell that 20 year old, "See?  I told you joy was coming!"

I remember my 23rd birthday.  It was my first birthday as a married woman.  We lived in Houston, and Jonathan took me to dinner.  It was my first birthday to not be with "my family", and he tried to make it special (that was back when I still didn't think "my family" meant "me and Jonathan").  My Granny got sick in the next few days.  My family kept reassuring me that I didn't need to come home, but I was unsettled and just wanted to "be there" so I flew to Lubbock .  Not only was I happy to kiss her frail cheek and hold her shaking, paper-thin-skin hands, but I was so happy to spend time with my family "around" my birthday, even if I'd missed the actual day.  My Granny ended up pulling through that illness just fine (we joked that she had 9 lives) and lived another 13 months.

I wish I could go back and tell that 23 year old what an honor and privilege it was to love and be loved by a woman like Myrtle Bozeman and remind her that sometimes there is just no substitute for being present.

I remember my 30th birthday.  Jonathan is not known for making a big deal out of birthdays, and I went to get a mani/pedi and do dinner with a girlfriend for my birthday.  When we got to the restaurant, Jonathan had gathered some of my friends for a surprise party.  I was truly surprised and loved the evening.  He then took me to Taos for the weekend and reproposed and gave me a new wedding ring (my original was stolen years before).  It will be hard to top my 30th birthday.

I wish I could go back and tell that 30 year old that she's lucky to have married a man who made her day so special and to cut him more slack, more often.

I remember my 32nd birthday because that was my first birthday as a momma.  Mother and I took Pooka to get his 6 week pictures made, ate Mexican food, and I couldn't have cake because of Bo's MSPI.  We had just found out about the MSPI and were still in the throes of baby bliss; it was the calm before the storm.

I wish I could go back and tell that 32 year old that a storm is coming, but the rainbow she''ll see afterward will knock her socks off.



  1. Happy Birthday sweet friend!! I enjoyed reading about all of your birthday's!

  2. Happy birthday mindi!!!!!! Loved reading your blog n about all your birthday memories!! Hope u have a special one this year!!