This year’s birthday has been SO much easier to swallow than last year's – as I’ve had an entire year to come to terms with the fact that I’m in my fifth decade of life. And then some.
Through the years, I’ve celebrated my birthday in various ways, but always involving cake (usually chocolate) and always involving family. When I was much, much younger, my FAVORITE way to celebrate was to beg and plead to go to a Kansas City Royals baseball game…which was a big deal for our family, and was most likely the ONLY time we’d attend a game all year. I loved nothing more than spending my birthday in the ball park, armed with a baseball glove in one hand and a hot dog in the other.
The one thing that wasn't bliss were the inevitable photos of me blowing out candles. I HATED these photos. Always. Because, really, who looks good with their cheeks all blown up like a chipmunk??!! Does anyone ever truly take good photos while blowing out candles??
So...in honor of my birthday...here's some FABULOUS (not) photos of birthdays from the past...beginning with a baby photo:
I was obviously so cute then that Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons wrote a song about me...perhaps you've heard of it? "Sherry Baby"? (Of course, they spelled it wrong - but still...great song.)
I'm not sure how this was EVEN possible, but I was even cuter when I turned five:
Yes - I was rockin' those 'pig tails' for sure....
At nine, I went for the more sophisticated look:
This was the first (and only) year that my folks veered from my traditional chocolate cake...they opted for strawberry shortcake, of which you can see a HUGE helping there beside me in the photo. That was an even HUGER (is that a word??!!) mistake. I got SOOOOOOO sick on that shortcake, that to this day, I refuse to eat it. Period. Never again. Bleh.
I turned fifteen in 1977, when big hair - and big glasses - were all the rage:
Big dogs were also the fashion, as seen by our pet German Shepherd in the background...as well as the "big dog" decoration on my cake.
I turned 21 in 1983, and although I have no photos of that momentous event, I do have memories...I spent the evening in Westport, an entertainment district in Kansas City, hitting up as many bars as I could with my sorority sisters and fraternity friends. I was SO looking forward to "being carded" - and yet, I wasn't asked for my I.D. all night. Gah.
By then time I turned 32, I was a respectable (hah!) mom:
That was 19 years ago...unbelievable. The small child in that photo is now my 6'5" 20-year old son...and if he were to try to sit on my lap at this point, he'd squish me.
Yes...birthdays come...they go...there's cake, candles, presents, food, family, love and fun.
Most of all - there are memories...and that's what make birthdays the best.
Thanks, everyone, for spending my birthday today with me, walking a bit down Memory Lane.