Happy Birthday to me. I love visiting a zoo. I wanted to look like a monkey, and act like one too. (But I didn’t get the chance.)
Looking back over the last 55 years, there are only a few birthday celebrations that made an impression on me, whether good or bad. So I thought I would share one of them with you today.
Growing up, our family tradition was to open our presents in the morning, even on school days. So that if we got clothes, we could wear them proudly on that day. Of course, we had to wait to have the cake after dinner. Sometimes, I wish it was the other way around.
Since we’re talking cake, my favorite is devil’s food chocolate (Duncan Hines) with chocolate frosting. But occasionally, mom would make boiled white icing on a chocolate cake. It would form like a shell over the cake, therefore making pieces of icing when cut. It was delicious.
I was excited to dress up like a monkey for the class skit.
In sixth grade, I was excited about going to school because my social studies class was performing a skit in the gym. I had my clothes all laid out ahead of time – brown pants and a brown shirt – to play the monkey in a zoo.
My sister woke me up and we went into our parent’s room – climbed up on the bed with them and my brother. I recognized the rectangular presents as clothes boxes. (As Christmas and birthdays were about the only time we got them during the year).
And so I wasn’t surprised to find them under the wrappings. Mom was excited that I would be able to wear my new clothes to school. Me, not so much. It was a dress with little red flowers all over it. I hated dresses. Well, maybe hate’s a strong word. I dislike them, especially when I wanted to be a monkey in our skit.
But I didn’t have a choice and so off the school I went in a pretty red-flowery dress. I was the prettiest monkey there. And the only one not dressed for the part. Oh well, the three-layer cake after dinner made the birthday, the best one ever.
And so, don’t be a monkey in a red-flowered dress – just be the monkey. Sometimes you have to make a different choice, despite the traditions.