It’s funny sometimes how you entirely forget things that used to loom so large in your life. When I was very small, my mother used to have this delightful tradition on our birthdays. She would allow us to sit at the head of the table in a tall backed chair which she had decorated with balloons and streamers and bows and ribbons.
When it was your turn to sit in that chair, you’d feel really extraordinary. It was as if you were the queen of the world. And then in would come the birthday cake, alight with candles. She used to make it from scratch, just for you. Often it was a unique shape. I remember one year it was a colorfully frosted rocking horse. I was so excited!
Somewhere along the way we stopped having the birthday chair. I have no idea why. Maybe it was because we each got to that self-conscious age and began to chafe at the special treatment. Or maybe as grinding poverty bore down upon us, she lost the will to make the effort. It’s hard to say, but somewhere along the way the tradition died out, and eventually it was forgotten.
I have no idea why it popped into my head at this point in time, but I’m turning 50 this month, and it sure would be nice to have someone treat me as if I were special. I guess I will have to train my dogs to blow up balloons and preheat the oven. What could possibly go wrong?