My birthday is the seventeenth of May.
There is something special about celebrating a birthday.
Even today, as old as the hills that I am, I like to do it. To celebrate a birthday.
But nothing beats celebrating a birthday as a child and with a party.
I still remember the first birthday party I ever had.
I was eight years old.
My parents planned a birthday party for me after school at the local church hall.
It was a Tuesday. It should have been a pleasant Spring afternoon but as it turned out, it rained all day and that put my parents in a bit of a spin.
A month before the special day, I wrote out and sent out party invites to my best friends.
My parents said that I must limit the number of invites to twenty. Fair enough, I thought.
Thankfully, everyone except one (and there is always one, isn’t there?) responded to the RSVP deadline and made it to the party, despite the bad weather conditions.
My parents catered for thirty people all told at the party just in case.
Besides the nineteen friends who came and myself, there was also my younger sister and older brother, plus my parents and my Aunt Jennifer, my Mother’s sister. That made it twenty-five.
My Mother hired a clown who performed some wonderful tricks and made us all laugh. There was food for him as well.
Typically, my Mother was also thoughtful and kind in distribution of food to the vicar and his wife who helped a little with the arrangements for setting up the party in the church hall.
The clown performance actually made me think of becoming one myself when I grew up but that never came to fruition at all.
I was very nervous but also very excited about the party. I had been to a few parties of some of my friends and I had an idea what to expect but the butterflies did not go away from the moment I woke up in the morning.
The hall was nicely decorated with colorful balloons and fancy streamers.
Aunt Jennifer supervised the seating arrangements for the party guests after the games were over.
My Mother baked a big cake which everybody ate after eating all the party food.
Actually, not all the party food was eaten because my friends and I got tired quickly from the party games, so there was a lot of left-overs to take home afterwards.
My friends gave me lots of wonderful birthday presents as well as hugs and sang ‘happy birthday’ to me at the top of their voices.
It was almost time to cut the cake. There were eight candles on top of the cake.
I blew out the candles and made a wish. I think I made more than one wish and I must confess I have kept it a secret all these years.
The birthday bash was over. I opened all of my presents and I was quite thrilled with what I got.
‘Doggie bags’ were given to my friends as they left the party and my parents began the clean up, although I don’t remember anything about that at all.
I enjoyed my first birthday party tremendously and I looked forward to the next one.
By the way, the wish I made that day came true.
I got married later in my life to a beautiful woman and had four children.
Now I celebrate their birthdays along with my own, just as if it was yesterday.


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