My sister’s birthday is June 22. While to most this day is just the day after the 21st (and summer solstice) and before the 23rd, in our family it is THE DAY the world stops and the attention of the world should be on her. The funny part is, she will relish the thought that I am writing this as she keeps asking, “Do you know this is my birthday month?” Month is right, the whole month of June is hers or at least in her mind it is.
When we were growing up, she always felt slighted. Her birthday fell right during the opening of fishing season. We referred to her day as the day the “willow flies hatched” on Guntersville Lake. We made an annual trek to our grandparents’ house so that Dad and my uncles could fish during that critical week. So her first party was with cousins during that willow fly week. Oops, that meant her birthday had to be extended beyond that week to insure the baby-of-the-family got her full celebration. And extended is an understatement. When back home, we had the requisite party with friends. To make matters worse, school was out so she didn’t have the full classroom celebration, meaning we had to invite everyone she knew to her party.
The white cake has always been our family’s favorite. For one of her birthdays mom made the cake, iced it in white buttercream icing, and put half-maraschino cherries all over it. Janice sneaked into the kitchen and ate all the cherries off the top. Did she think we wouldn’t notice? The cake looked like the surface of the moon. Mom told her that the day she got married, she was going to run her finger through her wedding cake icing. She didn’t, but boy we were all hoping she would have done that. Someone always smears icing on her nose every year—that is a tradition too! Our June month is always fun.
The year her second child was born, she was really sweating it out. Could he possibly come on her day and steal the attention? That would never do—no, not at all. He came early in June, thank goodness. He was her first birthday present that year. She will be 58 this June. That means we have had at least 55 years of month-long celebrations because you can’t stop the train once it leaves the station. And we assumed she couldn’t remember the first three years. She says that she is spoiled and it is our fault. Perhaps that is true.
Then to complicate her life more, I married Neal who has a June 29 birthday. OMgosh what was I thinking? This year he will be working on her birthday and has already told her this so that she will not be expecting him at the family dinner. She simply said for him to leave a large package at her door. And she reminds him of this total breakdown in priorities regularly. So, happy birthday and love to Janice, the grown baby of the family. May you have many more June celebrations. Did I tell you she is the test kitchen director here at Hoffman Media? I can’t imagine how many cakes she will have, can you?
To some, birthdays are just another day. But if you were raised like we were, please comment below and tell me about your special family birthdays. I know there are other special birthday memories you can share with us!