Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me, Again

February 1970 ~ I turned one.

I am going to be honest here.  I don't remember it.  Nothing.

I don't remember the yellow cotton dress I wore.

I don't remember the homemade cake shaped like a pink elephant.  (A pink elephant?  Really?  Like the kind drunk people are rumored to see?  Surely not.)

I don't remember that my cousins Johnny and Janine, who were born the previous December and April respectively, were watching and taking notes to see how a one-year-old was supposed to comport herself.  I hope I set a good example.

I don't remember that we celebrated my grandfather"s birthday too, with a nice rectangular cake full of candles.  He would have been 46.  (Forty-six?  Can that be?  I'm forty-one!)

I don't remember that both of my parents were there.  Together.  Though I do remember that by my fifth birthday they were not.

February 1974 ~ I turned five

On my fifth birthday my father had to drive in from out of town to visit.  He gave me a bicycle.  He took me to the parking lot of the church next to the apartment complex where we (my mother and sister and I) lived, to ride it.   He stayed only a few hours.  I'm sure there was probably a party for me that year too, but I don't remember it.


  1. I received the documents about my parents Divorce from the High Court in London some month ago and they showed that it started in Feb'74. I would have to say that the late 60s and 70s were not very good for the life of marriages.

    Happy b-day, when can I use a big B.

  2. I'm finding this age (same as yours) is making me think of time passing and years gone by. The best thing is to remember that everything that filled those years made us who we are, good and bad. Nostalgia is sweet, regret is bitter.
    Tina xx

  3. I heard recently about a couple who spent $4000 on their one year old's birthday party. Cinderella was there and everything. Fine if you can afford it, but kind of ridiculous, too.
    I'm sad about the circumstances of your 5th birthday. Many contemporaries of my parents' split up in the 70's too, and that is why their 50th anniversary last year was so special. I was a lucky kid. My parents fought passionately, but they stuck it out. One time my eldest sister, when she was six, said to them when they were arguing, "If you guys get a divorce, I'm not living with either of you, I'm going to live with grandma, because you're both stupid!"

  4. Bittersweet post.
    Even if you don't remember the birthday (none of us regular people do, at one or two years old), it's good to see all the love surrounding you.
    The divorce - I was in fifth grade when we started living separately from my dad, and the legal divorce occurred soon after.
    I've heard that Maya Angelou said, "We do the best we know how to do." I guess our parents tried, but didn't know what else to do.