Every 9-year-old girl looks forward to her next birthday and I was no exception. In our house birthdays were special because we could choose the meal we wanted Mom to make, choose the kind of cake and frosting we wanted her to bake, and could invite a friend or relative for dinner. And, of course, there was a wish to make, candles to blow out, and at least one present.
The year I turned 10, my birthday was on a Saturday. That morning Mom sent me on an errand to Beazel's, the local grocery store two blocks away. On the way, Linda Patterson came out of her house and walked part way with me. Linda and I were in different grades in school and while we were friendly, we didn't spend much time together. She began excitedly talking about birthdays and birthday parties. I knew there was no way she would know it was my birthday so I was surprised at her topic of conversation.
When I returned home from the store, Gramma called and invited me to eat lunch with her and Grampa. Picky me. I wanted to know what they were eating before I accepted the invitation. (She could have served me bread and butter and I would have been thrilled, but if she was making tuna sandwiches and I had to eat them, I wasn't interested.) I think she finally persuaded me to join them when she told me we would drive into Niles after lunch.
I can't remember party activities. Perhaps we played Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Maybe my older sister, Marsha, helped. Details have faded from my memory. I'm grateful Mom thought to take photographs.
Notice that we were all wearing dresses, the standard party wear at that time. Pants were for playtime, dresses for school, church, parties, and all other occasions. We looked forward to getting dressed up.
As I remembered and thought about this party, I suddenly realized that it was a hugely
generous gift for my mother to host a birthday party for me. She was
a very private person and was extremely careful and protective about her home.
To have 10 little girls there for a party must have nearly frazzled her
nerves. It's strange that only now am I recognizing the birthday party for the gift it was. Thank you, Mom!
This post is being contributed to 123rd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: A Birthday Party! which is hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene. I'm sending thanks to her for hosting the Carnival and happy birthday wishes because she's celebrating her own birthday in November. Thank you, Jasia, and Happy Birthday!