I always looked forward to the celebration of my special day, especially since it coincided with the country's celebration of freedom, Independence Day, giving my day an extra "kick" with the evening's display and powerful booms of "those rocket's red glare, and those bombs bursting in air."
In my younger years I would so desire to see those colors that I would cover my ears to tolerate the overly loud noise, even when I could feel the re-verb in my chest.
Mom always made me to feel as if those colorful displays were just for me--to celebrate my special day. She would also enhance the occasion with the thematic colors of red, white, and blue, whether on my homemade birthday cake with blueberries and strawberries for the visual of the American Flag or with the ribbons and bows on my gifts.
On my 12th birthday, the setting for my celebration was my all-time favorite summer hang-out, Terrace Lake (now defunct), where I could swim, swing and play on the monkey bars and eat BBQ chicken and potato salad.
I won't forget the gift, that large rectangle shaped box, that became my treasured possession, filled with supplies and books on how to draw animals and other things: My First Art Kit. I loved to draw; so that gift from Mom just validated me as a budding artist and it thrilled me just thinking about using the pencils and other contents to create and express myself.
I believe one of the best ways to make a birthday memorable is for a child to be shown how special and unique they are, showcasing their interests and talents and what makes their personality sparkle.
When it comes to my own two daughters, I have had a fab time celebrating their birthdays through a colorful, visual display of their personality and interests through image, text and color, collage style on the wall. It never disappoints to see how much such a display validates and boosts their self-esteem.
And that's what birthdays are really for. And what is a birthday but a fabulous memory-in-the-making that will last a lifetime.
I wrote today's post as part of the Wow-Women on Writing's "Everybody's Talking about Favorite Childhood Memories" mass-blogging event celebrating the release of Finding Emma by Steena Holmes (http://www.steenaholmes.com/). Steena is a woman who believes that 'in the end, all things succumb...to the passions of your heart'. Steena's life revolves around her family, friends and fiction. Add some chocolate into the mix and she's living the good life. She took those passions and made them a dream come true by pouring her heart into each of her stories.
Finding Emma has quickly become a bestseller. Proceeds from each book will be donated to The Missing Children Society of Canada - an organization dedicated to reuniting families. Visit http://www.mcsc.ca/ for more information.
If you comment on today's post on this blog or any of the others participating the "Everybody's Talking About Favorite Childhood Memories" day, you'll be entered to win a signed copy of Finding Emma!
To read Steena's about childhood memories and view a list of other blog participating in the "Everybody's Talking About Favorite Childhood Memories" day, please visit The Muffin (http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/).