Celebrating my birthday

Many years ago I was visiting with fellow quilters, when one of the ladies informed us it was her birthday. We all sang to her and when we hit the last note, Marge said “My husband forgot it was my birthday today.” Many sighs came from the gathering, at which point Marge said, “Oh no! It is a good thing. Now I will celebrate on the tenth of the next month, and the next and the next.”  Of course we all had a good laugh and then we all decided it might be a good idea if ours were forgotten as well.

Next month I’ll have my birthday. I will be on a cruise from Detroit to Portland, Maine, which might be considered a very good birthday present. But I celebrated today as well, in anticipation of the event. I took my daughter on our annual “back to school shopping” spree for my present.

I remember those days….. the frenzy about what would be needed, the notebook, the crayons, the discussion about what to wear for the first day. I have seen the lists put out by the schools today and it is a lot longer than any requirements we had “back in the day.” The schools provided more than desks and texts back then I guess. Today there are all the electronics kids want as well.

It is my oldest child that benefits from my birthday back to school shopping every year. She is still the one going to school… not as a student, but as a teacher, and, apparently, teaching three and four year olds is a very messy job because we replace pants and shirts every year – and I manage to find a few things for myself as well. I would have bought her a box of crayons if she had asked. She’s a terrific teacher and deserves the best!

I was not a quilter when Amelia was in preschool, but I did sew most of my girl’s dresses. I learned how to smock and sent Amelia off to school in one of her many smocked dresses. Of course, I got a note from the teacher reminding me of the messiness of preschool and to “please put my child in play clothes.”  I had to tell her: those are her play clothes.

Saturday was the day for our  trip to the outlet mall, looking for the right preschool clothes, and lunch at the Olive Garden. School has begun for teachers with meetings and discussions, plans for the year ahead. Amelia filled me in with her usual enthusiasm, even about the prospect of having a surplus of three-year-olds. Now I am caught up on the latest of what I need to know if I were to teach and I am, thankfully, back home, glad I will not be returning to a classroom this fall.

I loved my job. I really don’t think I ever had a day I did not want to be in my classroom, but this thing called age has tired me out. I’ll stay home and hear about those first days and recall the days when it was fun for me too, and my “preschool” daughter, rather teacher, will be arrayed in new “play”  clothes  for the event. Happy Birthday to me.

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6 Responses to Celebrating my birthday

  1. I love the picture of Amelia. I made some of my daughter’s clothes, but not like my own mother, who made nearly every one of mine! This is the sweetest post, Fran, a nice capturing of your weekly lunch, this time for your birthday present! Happy Birthday ahead of time!

  2. Your post is such wonderful reminder that we ALL make our own decisions to be happy about and enjoy the many stages and phases of our lives. We should not rely on others (husbands included) to celebrate what is important. I too have always shopped for my late August birthday a back to school clothes treat or two. This year, I shopped for school supplies with my 6 year old great neice as I was providing “child care” during the after camp time. I found out SHE loves beautiful notebooks and stickers PERHAPS EVEN MORE than me. It’s another reminder that there are many ways to celebrate! Happy Birthday!

  3. Tara says:

    Happy Birthday! I just loved reading this post – a grand tradition to celebrate birthdays, new beginnings of the school year and the bonds between a mother and daughter who share (among so much else) the joy of knowing what it means to be a teacher.

  4. Judy C. says:

    How fun it is to bring back the memories of shopping and getting “just the right stuff”, which I’m sure you helped Amelia find for her first day back. This was a delightful slice and I know you and your daughter enjoyed your time together. Hope you have a great birthday trip!

  5. pamelahodges says:

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing your memories. Your story was full of so many layers of past and present. I loved the photograph of your daughter. How special that you live close to share shopping for back to school.

  6. You have inspired me to continue the “back to school shopping” with my daughter, even though she’s been out of school for several years. And how sweet that you celebrate your birthday with gifts for others. This post was filled with so many things to think about, like how you loved teaching then but are glad to be out of the classroom now – “recall the days when it was fun for me too.” Most of all I loved your thoughts on “play” clothes. Thanks for such thought provoking words. And Happy Birthday!

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