Brad & Heather's Journal

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Happy Birthday, Heather

The fact that tomorrow is Heather's birthday has me thinking about memories of birthdays from when I was a kid. I know people now who make it really elaborate--hire magicians and clowns, hire "birthday organizers" (by the way, my favorite suggested title for a sequel to Snakes On A Plane is Spiders On A Clown), but it was never like that for me. Cake, pointy hats, blow out the candles, open presents, take some Polaroids, and you were done. I once did a pirate-themed birthday for my son Lucas, but mostly because it allowed me to be dressed as a pirate the entire day. And that was a do-it-yourself....no organizers were hired. I remember when I was about eight years old, and Ty Lang, the kid next door (who I now think had a pretty cool name), had a party. His mom had this bizarre and cruel game whereby you had to stand over a Coke bottle and hold a clothespin on your nose, then release the pin and have it go inside the bottle. I found this to be impossible to do, and I wanted to do it because anyone who could do it got a new Hotwheels car as a prize, which was pretty amazing when the typical prize was something like an uninflated balloon. But I couldn't do it. I kept trying, even after others had moved on to the cake and ice cream portion of the festivities. I was so frustrated, that I left. I mean, I just watched the last clothespin glance off the side of the bottle, and I walked out the back door and down the street to my house. I didn't wait for presents, didn't eat any cake, didn't tell Mrs. Lang I was leaving. I just bailed. Really, who could blame me? Most birthday memories are better than that, though. The best birthday I got a pair of stilts....a pale substitution for the unicycle I wanted, but still pretty good. My daughter Alex every year asks for pet food and pet supplies for her birthday, which she then donates to the local shelter. I think that's a great idea, one I wish would spread. Anyway, happy birthday to you, Heather. Just for fun, see if you can drop a clothespin into a Coke bottle....

Brad

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