Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15, 2009

Last night Mike and Mary Bratton and Charlie and I drove up to Chattanooga to eat at Tony's Pasta - for my birthday.

We had a really nice time - and a lot of talk and laughter - We were in the art district of C'nooga.

I know that I have things Mother kept regarding birthday parties of mine, but I was unable to put my hand on them.

The first one I remember which was very significant to me.... actually I was about to name my 5th birthday party, but the first one I remember is really my 4th. We were in our new house and Mother invited so many friends and all my cousins. All the children were dressed in their Sunday Clothes - in the afternoon. Mother served ice cream cones for the children - and cake - I have pictures of that party and the adult ladies are dressed really nice as well. I recall being aware of how messy the ice cream was. I have an image in my mind of the screen porch door being open and the ice cream cones being passed by Mother to other adults who were handing them to all of us children. The ice cream was very drippy and I was aware of it.

I have pictures of that party and in one of the pictures is the little girl, Marilyn Mason, who also sent me the birthday card this week. Here we are, 58, and she was at my 4th birthday party - and she just sent me a card. Amazing to me.

I remember nothing about opening the gifts or the arrival of the guests, or what we did - I just have an image of that time when we were all eating the ice cream. It was July 14th. Imagine how hot it was and of course the ice cream was messy.

On my 5th birthday, again, outside I do remember my friends arriving. I remember taking pictures prior to the party. I recall my friend from down the street arriving with her gift and it wasn't wrapped. Just a gift with ribbon around it and it was a tea set. I know the gift because it's in the pictures I've looked at over the years. Again, we were all dressed rather nicely - adults as well - but not quite as dressy as the year before. A bit more casual. There was a card table with a tablecloth on it and the cake in the center of that, surrounded by gifts. I know this because of the pictures. What I do remember is watching Mother make the cake for me. I thought it was beautiful. It had pale blue icing with those silver little balls on top - tiny - they have a name but I can't remember - They look like little silver pellets. I just remember being on the chair at the kitchen table, intensely watching Mother ice the cake and thinking how beautiful it was.

There was another significant party and I recall that we were outside playing games. Mother seemed rather flustered by the energy of the little boys. I think they were pretty wild and I don't recall there being a lot of adults there to help. I suppose we were all at the age when the moms just dropped their children off and returned at the end of the party.

Birthday Parties in the 50's. Pretty standard. Ice Cream and Cake. Favors were little plastic tiny baskets with small candies in them - or the blowout things. Those are favors I remember. I always looked forward to attending a birthday party - but I didn't like the midday bath I would be required to take - before dressing for the party. I suppose I had played so hard already and gotten so dirty that I had to have a bath before the party.

One more childhood memory I have is being in the den while Mother was ironing. I was sitting on the couch and she said, "Elizabeth, your birthday's coming up. We need to plan your party". I remember the feeling of getting so excited.

I really enjoyed Mary Ann's parties too. Her birthday is January 16. A winter party so it always had to be inside. As I recall it usually had more of a theme than mine did. I don't know why - unless Mother just had to think of something for those children to do inside our tiny living room. I never felt slighted by that. I loved my parties. As I got older, and Mary Ann, too, we didn't always have the group parties. Sometimes we just did family things - which included cousins and grandparents.

Well, this post would be better if I had pictures, but I don't.

And I think I'm a little tired of talking about birthdays. I find it fascinating that birthday parties given by mothers for their children have been going on for sometime. I might google that and research the history of that tradition. I have pictures of one of Daddy's birthday parties when he was a little boy. And he was born in 1913. It's common that most people feel really special that they can recall that day when they were born. Tells us, still, I think, something about God creating us and, whether we're believers or not, we're made in His image and have spirits and souls drawn to our creator. We're not just accidents - He made us for Him and for His glory. We have a sense of self and due to the fall we're self absorbed - but that sense of self is made to be lost in Him so that it is so one with Him that He becomes the glory and worship - not our own stuff and things.

Okay - that's all I'm going to write.

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