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{February 24, 2014}   Daily Prompt: Shake it Up

My First Birthday

My First Birthday

When I read the Daily Prompt today, telling we bloggers to write about our 12th birthday, I initially deleted it. After over one-half century of birthdays, I remember very few. My twelfth being one of ┬áthose I have no memory of whatsoever. But I remember my 13th…vividly.

One of my best friends, Terry threw a surprise party for me at her house, and boy was I surprised! To the point that my legs completely gave way and I ended up on the floor greeting her dog before I said hello to any of my friends. This was a subject of a lot disgruntled complaining by everyone after the fact…”we go to all this trouble and the first thing she does is pet the dog!” This situation was repeated in my early twenties when my best friend and roommate, Julie gave me a surprise party and I proceeded to cry about the fact that my current crush was ┬ánot there. Julie was angry for days and thought me ungrateful.

I felt quite guilty both times. But at my present age, I understand myself so much better. I have never been able to deal with being the center of attention, even though a part of me has always wanted it. It is the introvert in me. Both those times I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I couldn’t handle it. I was unable to express how unbelievably grateful I was to be so loved. I felt totally unworthy.

And now as I look at my life and mourn its lack of celebratory moments, I finally understand that though some of it was a result of circumstances, some of it I have to take responsibility for. I am going to write a part two of this post to talk about what I mean by a lack of celebratory moments, but in the meantime, as the adult that I am now, I so wish I could tell Terry and her mother how much I appreciate what they did. It was a significant moment in my life. My first “boy/girl” party and a moment that set the tone for the rest of my life…actually one of the best birthdays I ever had. Terry’s mother surrendered her house to a bunch of young teenagers; she must have been cleaning up M&M’s for months afterward (we had an unbelievable M&M fight).

Acknowledging what they did now is the best I can do.



et cetera
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