Today I turn 47. Which means I have three more years until I turn 50. Which I find amazing and startling with a dash of WTF when did that happen thrown in.
It is interesting I was born in July. I hate being hot. It is hard to be joyful and birthday exuberant in the hot humidity of New England, where I was born and have lived a good portion of my life. It seems more appropriate that I would have been born a child of Fall, which is my favorite season. But you don’t get to choose those things.
During much of my childhood we would visit my paternal grandparents in Minetto NY for the 4th of July, which meant we were there for my birthday too. Most years I remember my grandmother baking an angel food cake for me, which was not a particular favorite of mine, but is a refreshing dessert with strawberries. So I have fond memories of that cake, even if I really prefer pie. With ice cream.
One year while visiting I got to ride an elephant. I think it was either my 7th or 10th birthday. Thinking back on it now I have to feel really sorry for the elephant, who was made to stand in a hot parking lot in July, giving rides to kids for hours. It is the only time I have been that close to an elephant, and I remember being startled by the coarseness of the hair, the roughness of the skin, and the way I bobbled up and down as it walked around the parking lot. You don’t realize how much swaying you will do until you are sitting right behind the ears of this majestic beast and it begins to take those big lumbering steps.
Another memory I have of visiting my grandparents at this time of the year is celebrating the 4th. I have this vision in my mind from these visits of the quintessential 4th of July celebration, which involves parades, bands, Sousa marches, flags, balloons and at night the most amazing fireworks I can remember. Things seem so much bigger when you are small.
One year I got a balloon at the parade, which was two balloons in one. It had a pink Mickey Mouse shaped head inside a clear round balloon. I managed to hang onto it until we got back to the house, where I lost my grip on it and it floated away. My grandfather stood there with me and watched it rise out of sight, telling me he could see it go past the moon, and on to Mars, where he couldn’t see it anymore. I cannot see a balloon floating in the sky now, without wondering if there is a small child sad to see his or her balloon float away, and hoping there is someone standing there describing how the balloon is floating past Mars on a grand adventure.
This year we decided to acquire another treadmill for my birthday. Cooper suggested that his father buy me a new computer. Somehow I think his plan was that via the trickle down effect he would gain control of the iPad, or Super Toy as he refers to it. Since I am not in need of a new computer, his plans are thwarted. Otherwise, today will involve dinner out, nothing fancy, and I imagine cake and a swim in the pool. If you have to have a summer birthday, you should at least have a pool.