Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My daughters Birthday is today

I just read two blogger friends of mine. and and interestingly enough they both hit on memories of the past. With today being my youngest daughters 6th Birthday and the preparations we are making for that, I wonder what memories she will have of this event? Other than pictures, what will rekindle thoughts of growing up in her later years?

We allow our kids to pick where they want to go eat on their birthdays. Well, today my 6 year old decided to dine at the culinary and cultural delight known as Chuck E. Cheese. Yes, a pizza place that features a huge rat as its mascot. I have no idea whats behind that marketing strategy, but it seems to work. So that is what we shall do. Go eat so-so pizza and they play games with tokens.

I do not recall my 6th birthday. I do know that it wasn't at a restaurant. It was at home, like all of my birthdays. My mom would bake a sheath cake (usually strawberry with strawberry icing, all homemade of course) and put those hard sugar decorations on it with corresponding number of candles. I would get to invite the 4 or 5 kids in the neighborhood (one whom happened to be an older girl who I had a crush on and she became a cheer leader and later got married before I could wow her with my charms) and we would eat cake, ice cream, and open whatever presents I got. Then we played in the backyard most likely.

Now we take kids to indoor play places, nice restaurants, trips, whatever, and spend hundreds of dollars on the event not counting the gifts. And I wonder, what memories will they have of this?

Mine are fond. I know my mom took time to make that cake. My favorite cake! To put just the right amount of icing on the top. To put the candles on it, light them, and have my dorky friends (except for the girl) sing Happy Birthday to me while I blew them out while making my wish.... (okay, yes the wish was about the girl).

It took time and effort.

Taking my kid to Chuck E. Cheese does not. But I wonder, will it have the same affect on her as mine did? I think probably so. Of course, we have ten thousand cameras at these events now, with video and still cameras, so it will all be recorded somewhere.

Thats one thing I do not have much of. Pictures of us kids, my sisters and I, growing up. No videos that I'm aware of. So the absence of those resources make my memories even that much more important to me, as they grow cloudier and dimmer by the year. Even so, they were good memories that I'm sure some kids did not have. I took them for granted, as I am sure my kids do presently. But hopefully, sometimes when a familiar smell or sight or sound or even someone else's blog, triggers these memories, after I am long gone, they will look back on these days with fondness... and say mom and dad did okay. ~npp


MizAngie said...

Your birthdays sound eerily familiar, except my cake was always chocolate with green icing, always a shamrock (St. Patrick's Day), but always baked and decorated by Mother. I marvel at a group of young mothers I know who are always trying to out-birthday-party each other. Even a McDonald's party is not good enough anymore. I personally feel, though, that a visit to Chuck E. Cheese (or as my baby nephew called it, Chunky Cheese)is a glimpse into the bowels of hell...

nonprofitprophet said...

ok, secretly I enjoy playing the video games. The pizza isn't so bad either, I'm just burned out over the years of eating pizza. Any pizza. Like life, I like everything on my pizza - whereas my family are basically pepperoni and cheese. Bland. ~npp