Friday, November 07, 2008

The Big 3-4



So I'm 34 today. Obviously, not an important birthday exactly, but a good time to sit and think a bit about where I came from and where I'm headed.

I was lying in bed around 6 this morning, listening to Robb make everything nice...he even ran out to the store because we were out of coffee. And I was thinking about being a kid...about my parents and my grandparents.

I am the second kid in the family, and the oldest girl. This was the view I saw every day of my life until I went to college. My daddy was part owner of a lawn and garden store and my mom made everything nice for all of us. I grew up playing baseball in the front yard, and hide and seek with our own special additive-play guns. This always deteriorated into a massive argument about whether or not we were "hit" or not by the pretend gunshots. My big brother tortured me with snakes, convinced me to kiss a frog, and hit me in the head with a shovel once..by accident of course. To my sisters, I was not a particularly good big sister as I was always trying to keep them out of my spotlight. I would do anything today to have them in my spotlight, borrow my shoes, whatever they wanted, just to be together.

My favorite things to do as a kid were playing in the creek, fishing in the pond across the road, cleaning and rearranging the furniture in our tree house (are you surprised at all by this?), and riding my bike on the paths in our woods. At different times in our lives, I had calves, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, cats, dogs, and rabbits, but it was never a farm exactly. My first real cash was money I earned selling baby rabbits for four dollars a piece. I was eight years old. Then I worked for my dad at his store, which I did until I graduated from high school at which point, I thought I really should get a "real job" working as a hostess at a steak house, which I stunk at. I should have stuck with the Feed Store.

My kids find it shocking that I never rode a school bus: My parents sacrificed much to send us to private Christian school which I attended for 13 years. We never had cable tv or even a tv with a remote control while I lived at home. I never had my hair cut until I was 13...which wasn't a religious thing, but rather, my dad just really liked our hair being long. I think it was a 70s thing. We grew most of our own food, mom made most of our clothes, and we went to a restaurant about twice a year. My mom's parents had 7 kids and 24 grandchildren, and for our birthdays, they took each kid out to any restaurant we wanted EXCEPT McDonalds (which my Grandpa declared used Kangaroo Meat) and let us choose a gift that cost five dollars. I realized this morning that they had a birthday to celebrate about 1/2 of the weeks of the year.

When I got to high school, my biggest ambition was being popular and finding somebody who would worship the ground I walked on slightly more than my dad already did. The first boy I ever really loved was a guy named Ray who (I didn't know this at first) had gotten in trouble for making his own alcohol, and had an earring and his nose pierced (and he sometimes wore a chain between them, but I never saw this because he went to public school). His sister and he had inflicted tattoos on one another: his was a cross on his chest and hers was an elaborate design around the word "Rebel." They did it with ink in a hypodermic needle. My dad was not too happy about this relationship. But Ray was smart, sweet and had a heart of gold; we used to go fishing in the pond behind his aunt and uncle's house where he lived because he had a hard time with his parents. It was probably the first and most innocent and honest friendship I had ever had with a boy. Eventually, he moved back home and he broke up with me because quite frankly, I was a brat. He is exactly the kind of person we serve at Vintage. The irony of this is not lost on me.

I went to college to become an English teacher, not so much because I wanted to teach, but because I really liked my English teachers. I figured I could use an English degree for something, someday. In the first two months, I got the lead in the play which led to my meeting Robb and getting my job with Dr. Carter....yada yada yada...here I am...staying at home (just like my mom), rearranging the furniture in my "tree house," making a little money from my own little enterprises, and trying not to be a brat.

Marcie and Drusie just called to wish me a happy birthday, and facebook greetings have been pinging my inbox right and left. Robb got me a Dremel tool for my birthday (he knows me SO WELL!) and we are going out tonight to do something mysterious and FUN.

I'm a lucky, lucky girl. Thanks for listening to me ramble.

8 comments:

Sara said...

Happy Birthday to you :)

Happy Birthday to you:)

Happy Birthday to the girl whose really not that old.

Happy Birthday to you :)

Jasmine said...

HAAAAAPY Birthday!

Mother of Many said...

Love, love, love it. We have much in common. Happy day. I hope you have something to laugh out loud about tonight on your date.

Heidi said...

Happy Birthday!

Jamal said...

Happy 3-4! My wifey just hit the 3-4 yesterday, so you two should bond. Luckily, it sounds like your husband pokes fun at you less than hers does...

Carrie said...

Happy Birthday! See you in a few days!!

marsuefields said...

Have a great birthday!!!!
Love,
Marsue

Jess said...

I beat you to 34 by just a few months. Happy Birthday Bloggy Friend. I love the reflection on childhood stuff. MORE!! :)

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