Today is my birthday. I’ve always thought it to be pretty special to have a day all to myself, “my day”. The one day out of the year when I can wear what I want, eat what I want, do what I want, and not feel guilty for it. Just one day, that’s all I need. I don’t need presents or parties or all of that, just knowing that the day is mine to do as I wish is simply enough. But, presents never hurt… ;)
Maybe it’s because I’m another year older, or simply because its summer time but nostalgia is setting in and I find myself thinking back to when I was a kid. Childhood was a much simpler time, a great place to have been. So I share with you now, my favorite birthday memory.
Im not sure how old I would have been, but I would say early elementary school age. My dad was out working and my mom had plans to be somewhere else that day so she took me to Grandma’s house. As a kid, I was a Barbie fa-na-tic! Couldn’t have ever had enough Barbies, it just wasn’t possible. For this particular birthday, I was getting a new Barbie but I couldn’t have it until I got to Grandma’s. Was this bribery to make sure I behaved for the two mile car ride to get there? I’m not sure, but I do remember the anticipation of getting that much wanted Barbie. She had a long pink ball gown type dress with stars all over it, and they glowed in the dark! Oh she was beautiful. For the few days leading up to my birthday, I would sneak into my parent’s bedroom and just look at her in her box…with the lights out of course so that I could see the cool stars on her dress. Once we arrived at Grandma’s I received my Barbie and was in heaven. But, as much as I loved Barbies, the doll isn’t what makes this birthday so memorable.
Growing up, the radio was always on in the kitchen playing country music. It was a part of every day and I had no idea how many memories I would have that relate to the comforting sounds that came from that little box. Each morning, birthdays were announced over the radio and every once in a while we’d hear a name that we’d recognize. As a child, this was astonishing! Almost like being famous! As my birthday approached, I remember mentioning something to my mom about my wonder if they would announce my birthday. I dunno, she said, I guess you’ll just have to wait and listen.
So when I got to Grandma’s that day, I immediately told her that we needed to have the radio on to listen for the birthday announcements at such and such time. She looked at me like, uh huh, okaaaay… But I was serious, I needed to be a witness to if my name was called or not. So, the time came, and we turned on the radio. Grandma was in her rocking chair, I standing beside her, and the names were called. Jill Deno! Oh my goodness, that’s me! They called my name, it’s my birthday and they called my name!! I was so excited! And my Grandma being the wonderful person she was, sat up in her rocking chair, cocked her head with the “Oh!” expression on her faced and just looked at me. Like, ‘Did you hear that? They called your name!’ For a brief moment, I was famous. How on earth did they know that it was my birthday?! I don’t know how many names were called that day but I felt like the most special birthday girl in the world. They knew…that it was my birthday. Amazing. As soon as my mom came to get me later that day (or morning, I’m not sure how long I was really there) I HAD to tell her all about it. And as mothers do, she played along as if she had no idea how on earth they would have known it was my birthday. It was one of those simple things that moms do, which they think goes on unnoticed, but it really didn't. A Barbie and a radio announcement, such a simple act of kindness that turned out to be one of my fondest memories of childhood.
And that my friends, is my favorite birthday memory.