Friday, September 30, 2011

Memories Not Blown Out

     I was kidnapped! One morning I looked out my bedroom window and two stories below I saw a car pull into the parking lot. I was excited to see my friends, Nej & Christina, get out of the car.

     But then they blindfolded me, put me into the car with them, and drove off!

     When the car finally stopped we were in a parking spot along the waterfront of downtown Seattle. They took my blindfold off ( to avoid suspicion?) and then led me onto a ferry.

     Why would my friend do this? What was their plan and where were we going? I wouldn't know all the answers until the end of the day, but I did know it was to celebrate my birthday.

     There are many parts of the day that have faded with time. The moments I remember, and treasure, most about the ferry boat ride are when all three of us where standing at the rail, wind whipping our hair and echoing through our ears. There was no way we could talk - we wouldn't hear each other, but there was no need for talk. I felt loved and special that sunny march day simply standing between my friends.

     The celebration didn't end with the ferry ride. That evening we went to Zones. It was a game place and snack bar. They had a couple of other friends meet us there. We played mini golf and I don't remember what else. Eventually we sat down at the booth to eat.

     There was a cake - complete with candles. After the singing and the blowing Christina told us of a special birthday tradition in her family. The person whose birthday is being celebrated - in this case in - is required to have each person feed them a bite of cake.

     That was a new one. I had never heard of that tradition. Have you? As you would imagine it is a bit embarrassing (is that the point?) but I made it through and it added to the specialness of the day.

     The story doesn't end there, though that birthday celebration did. Many, many months later (perhaps even a year or two) I was at Christina's house when her family was celebrating a birthday. Since I knew of the family tradition I was looking forward to being on the other side of this ritual.

     The cake came out. Singing and blowing occurred and now it was time to feed the honored guest, yet that didn't happen! Cake was served to everyone and each person commenced eating their own piece. Conversations continued, yet for me time froze. What about the family tradition? Could they have forgotten? I whispered  something to Christina and she started to snicker. Eventually an explanation was offered. Turns out it isn't a family tradition at all, but something she had made up just for my birthday!

Thank you for making me feel very special (and embarrassed and then stupid and finally cherished once more.)

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