(Please hold down the applause that I survived another year and how excited you are that I get to make you laugh for another one) 😀
Birthdays have always been weird in my family. My sisters (one more than the other) are big into birthdays. Celebrating the day of your life. I on the other hand, appreciate the birthday, but since I’ve worked almost every single birthday, most of the time it is just another day. This year included. (for the record, my brother falls somewhere in between)
When I was young, we didn’t have much money. My mom was very young when she had me (she had just turned16) and had four of us by the time she was 21. So as you can imagine, money was tight. But my mom always did what she could to make us feel special on our birthdays.
As I got closer to my 16th birthday, I secretly wished for what every 16 year old lays in bed praying about. Yep, getting a car for my birthday. Now, logically I knew this was impossible. We simply had no money. But that reality doesn’t sink into a 16 year old’s head. The dream stays alive. The hope burns internal.
When my 16th birthday arrived I laid in bed praying that some miracle happened overnight. That some how my mom found a way.
SIDE NOTE: What’s interesting is, we all get this feeling, long after our youth. How many times has your mind & heart dreamt of the possibility even though the little voice inside was trying to tell you not to expect it? (the 1/2 billion dollar lottery couple weeks ago being a great example)
Back to my story….
That morning after saying those last little prayers, I began my new year of life.
Like taking off a band-aid, I might as well just rip it off….
There was no car sitting in our drive way with a big red bow on it. 🙁
Nope. Not even a little hot wheels one for a good laugh.
Now, before I tell you what I did get, let me explain something many of you don’t know. I’m a tomboy. Always have been. If I wasn’t doing my homework I was outside playing over the line (baseball for 3-5), tennis or something with my brother and our friends. My brother always got the better toys in my mind. It drove my mom nuts that I refused to put on a dress. No freaking way was that going to happen. The word “Girly” and Tammy just weren’t used in the same sentence in my house.
With that said, what did I get? I got 3 things…a $50 check, a $50 bill & a green figuring with a girl in a dress (gasp) holding a cake with a 16 on top.
Now, when a tomboy wants a car for their 16th birthday, the last thing they are expecting is a girl in a green dress.
You can only imagine the amount of pouting I did that day. I wasn’t mad at my mom. I knew there was no way I was getting a car. But for a few weeks that dream was alive in my mind and it felt real.
As the days passed, my mom needed to borrow the $50 bill for food or bills or something, and I’m pretty sure I never cashed the check (knowing my mom could use the money more than I could). The little girl in green went on a shelf as a reminder that she wasn’t the car I really had wanted.
But what might shock and surprise you is… it has been 30 years since I received the Girl in Green. She has moved 16 times (ironic I know) & across four states with me. And she still sits on a shelf in my home office. Not a crack, a chip or anything. She no longer reminds me of the car I didn’t receive. Today she reminds me of how much my mother loves me and how much she loved me that day I turned 16. And I wouldn’t trade her for anything. (the figurine and my mom – LOL)
Besides, had I gotten the car, I’m not sure it would have fit on my shelf 30 years later.
We might not always get the presents we want, but we usually get the presents we are suppose to.
Just like my mom got me for her 16th birthday. 😀
~~till we laugh again~~~