Friday, October 26, 2012

Birthday Party Memories

When I think back to the birthdays of my youth I remember only two birthday parties where friends were invited. The first party was held when I was 6 years old. The bottom two photos on my scrapbook page were taken at that party. The friends were all girls from the neighborhood and from my first grade class. I remember feeling really special that day because my mom bought me a little crown to wear at the party and everybody else got regular old cone hats. You can see my little crown better in the picture on the right.

Do you see the girl with blonde hair to my right in the photo on the bottom left? Her name was Mary Furman. She used to live two doors down from us. Her mother died and she and her father and sister moved away when I was in the second grade. I still think of her from time to time and wonder if we were related. I didn't know it at the time but my great grandmother's surname was Furman, Karolina Furman. Furman is a common surname so it's not likely that we were related, but still I wonder...

The second friends-only birthday party I remember was a surprise party thrown for me by my best friend Valerie for my 15th birthday. It was held in the basement of her home and all of my close friends were there. It was a sleepover party and we all had a great time. I even got a kiss (on the cheek) from Val's older brother who at the time all of us girls thought was super hunky. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos from that party. It was fun though!

The rest of the years of my youth my family remembered my birthday with a birthday cake and gifts. It was always just a small after-dinner affair. On occasion my Aunt Ceily or Helen and George joined us. That made it feel a little more special. We lived in a small house with no dining room and the basement wasn't finished back then. Dinners with company presented a real challenge for my mom. You couldn't fit many people in the kitchen and going out to dinner was out of the question.

I always used to think of myself as lucky to have a birthday just a few days after Halloween. As a child, Halloween was always a big deal, long anticipated, and great fun. But there was sort of a let down when it was all over, for my friends that is. I still had my birthday to look forward to! :-) November in Michigan is usually cold, damp, and grey so any excuse for a party is a good one!

These days I usually celebrate my birthday with a couple of parties (one with my immediate family and one with my in-laws) and a couple of lunches with friends. It's nice to have a November birthday!

[Written for the 123rd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.]