When I was young, my mother always made a big deal about celebrating my birthday along with my brothers and sisters. She would go all out with decorations, inviting people, presents and of course making the best and biggest birthday cake.
This past weekend we celebrated my grandson Eli’s fourth birthday. As I was watching Eli and all the children gather around him to sing Happy Birthday it got me thinking about my birthday celebrations as a kid. My mom would always make my favorite cake, an angel food cake with strawberries.
Eli’s birthday cake was made by his sister Adelyn, it was a construction site cake with little bobcats, excavators, and bulldozers on a mound of what looked like dirt. Chocolate covered. It was very creative. The smiles from Eli, and his cousins and friends were fantastic. Lots of joy and happiness.
My birthday is coming up in a few weeks and to tell you the truth, I’m getting a little excited. I think the reason I get excited for my birthday as an adult is because my mom made it such a big deal when I was growing up. I remember a number of birthday parties my mom threw for me. In the late 1960’s everyone wanted to be an astronaut, including me. My mother made me a rocket ship cake and it was awesome. Ignore the picture I posted, I just wanted to show you the cake, not the crazy looking kid. I think I was in 5th grade and all my friends came over and we had a big party. I remember getting an astronaut helmet. Apollo 11 and going to the moon was a big deal at that time, I think I wore that helmet to bed for a few nights.
When I was a teenager, mom wouldn’t even ask me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday. She would just make angel food and strawberries every year. I can’t forget my Grandma Dorothy when it comes to my birthday. She would make me a fresh baked pan of cinnamon rolls. As a teenage boy and even as a young man, grandma would always call me the day before my birthday and remind me to come over tomorrow and pick up my pan of rolls. She did that for me every year. It became my favorite birthday present. One year she gave me two pans! I looked forward to going over to her house to visit with her and get the pan of rolls. She enjoyed giving them to me, more than I enjoyed receiving them I think. She did that for all her grandchildren that lived in Madison. When she passed away, I remember thinking my birthday won’t be the same anymore. I miss my grandma.
For some reason I remember getting spankings when it was your birthday. When my dad would come home from work, he would chase me and give me a spanking for however old I was. I don’t think we do that anymore. Another special birthday, I remember is when I turned 18 years old and my best friend’s mom made me a huge angel food cake, she cut out the middle of the cake and stuffed it with strawberries and whipped cream! Best tasting cake ever! I remember bragging about Bev’s cake to my mother and I think her feelings were hurt. I made up for that when I was in my twenties. I decided to buy a dozen roses for my mom on my birthday. To thank her for giving birth to me. My grandma would always tell me what a difficult and painful birth mom went through to have me. So I handed my mom the roses and gave her a hug and kiss that birthday. I hadn’t seen my mom cry very often, but she did then. It was a great memory. I think that was the year grandma gave me two pans of cinnamon rolls!!!
Birthdays are special and should be celebrated, no matter how old you are.