Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me :)

I recently had a birthday, and after seeing Amanda's list for her birthday and thinking it a great idea, I've decided to put together my own.

1. I can't say as I remember my first birthday. :) From the ancient 8mm video we have, however, I know it was a fun time filled with family on both sides. So many of those people are gone now, but what fun my first birthday in heaven will be, having them all back again. :)

2. This was a fun year, and my first memories start to take form. I moved from a house next door to my great-aunt who adored me to a house next door to my grandparents who adored me. Lucky me. :)

3. Starting to remember more. I can remember starting Sunday School, and on my very first day, learning the song "His Banner Over Me is Love."

4. For my fourth birthday, I got an early birthday present -- a baby brother. Now he has his very own Baby Boy! How time flies! I started reading at 4 and have never stopped...

5. I started kindergarten this year. How excited I was to show my teacher, Mrs. Roberts, my new Wonder Woman Underoos. LOL. Took her to the bathroom to show her privately -- at least I had SOME modesty! :) I became a Christian at age 5, so this was a great year. :)

6. Another early birthday present -- this time, the baby sister I had been praying for since before God gave me the brother... I regretted that prayer many times growing up (whenever she did something particularly annoying, and my mother always said, "Remember, you PRAYED for her and now you've got her!") But I can't regret it now, for she is Little Girl's mommy! Again, how time flies!

7. 2nd grade. Busy with school and church and AWANA and play... just having good old-fashioned kid fun!

8. My mother chopped off my knee-length hair. I hated it. How I cried! How many times during my childhood I heard her tell me, "When you're older, you can have it how you want it. But then you'll want it short!" She was wrong. I've NEVER worn it that short again. And probably never will.

9. The last of my growing-up years spent almost entirely with my "twin cousin" (we were five months apart). My grandmother wrote a poem about us that year that defines our childhood together:

Two little girls, they'll win your heart;
Always together, never apart.
Making plans every day,
What to do and what to say.
Writing plays and singing songs,
Growing up, it won't be long.
One is eight, the other nine years,
Going to school, learning cheers.
It seems they're never ever done
Always having so much fun.
They're first cousins and also friends,
I'm sure they will be to the end.
I wish you knew them as I do,
For then I know you'd love them too.

10. My first Cabbage Patch Kid (of many!) Remember the hideous names they came with? Norene Madelle was this poor Kid's name; I promptly renamed her April LeeAnne. I dearly love her to this day! I played with dolls a little longer than many girls do (until about 12), and definitely a lot longer than girls do today, but as my Pappaw always said, "Better dolls than boys!"

11. 6th grade -- I had my favorite teacher of all time, Mr. Reed. His idea of a field trip was taking the class to his house. We girls spent the morning with his wife learning to cook and sew and take care of their little boys, while the boys worked with him in his wood shop and played football. "That's awfully sexist!" remark many... but we LOVED IT!!!

12. A weird year for me. I was homeschooled at school... our jr high closed down (Christian school) so my mother ordered a homeschooling curriculum, Mr. Reed supervised it, she administered the tests, and I was essentially on my own most of the day. It was an awesome year. I substituted for absent teachers, I sorted the teachers' mail, met the pizza and Wendy's guys at the door and passed out the lunches to everyone (our idea of a hot lunch program! :) ), watched the daycare kids during nap to give the teacher a break, and took care of my 3 year old cousin so my aunt could study, as she was taking college classes.

13. A bad year. Jr. high reopened, but instead of the kids I grew up with returning to the school, it was a bunch of "bad kids" who were in trouble or flunking out of public schools, and their parents decided they'd send them to that Christian school to straighten them out. Uh, well when every kid is a "bad kid", they don't get straightened out... and it was a miserable year for me!

14. Continuation of bad bad bad. I'd like to erase these two years from my life.

15. I went to public school and was shocked to learn that there were NICE KIDS in the world!! Really there were!! Who knew?

16. Ahhh, the freedom to drive!! Well, not for me. I got my learner's permit a time or two but never really got to learn to drive. Even took driver's ed, and my partner was always absent when it was our turn to go out in the car and I hardly ever got to drive there!! So no license for me...

17. My senior year! I joined the band -- good move on my part. Made school a lot more fun, and expanded my network of friends quite a bit. Still couldn't drive, but who needs to drive when all your friends can?

18. Freshman year of college... I lived at home, so didn't have the whole college experience people talk about, it was really a lot like a continuation of high school with a bit more freedom.

19. Finally got that driver's license!

20. A shift from all those generalized classes to finally learning about speech therapy. Such a tough program, and the teachers treated us more like animals they were training than human beings they were teaching. Discovered the internet!!! Very important!!!

21. Got my undergrad. degree. Began forming close friendships with people I'd met online. Many thought it was weird, but I was SO SHY (from those awful jr high experiences!) that I just couldn't develop close friendships in real life, but once I discovered I could really express my true self in writing, wow! I became a different person, and it eventually carried over into my real life as well. This was the year I became friends with some of YOU reading here today. :)

22. Grad school... what was the big deal about graduation from college? Same types of classes, same nasty professors, same classmates -- the college years just go on... This was the year of the big car accident that I can't believe I survived, let alone came away with nothing but a bruise, but it sure messed up my life financially for awhile, due to those HUGE insurance payments...

23. I began substitute teaching this year as a part time job while finishing up grad school. My first opportunity to stand in front of a classroom since 7th grade! Really, I think I did better as a 12 year old... or maybe it was just that our kids were better behaved!!

24. My first REAL job -- I got a job as a speech therapist in a very rural county an hour from home. I can't believe I commuted every day. But thanks to those aforementioned insurance payments, I really couldn't afford to rent my own place, even if there were a place to rent in this oh so rural area!

25. Bought a house!! An hour away from home, ten minutes from my school. What fun to finally feel "grown up" after all these years. A little later than most, but better late than never. :)

26. Life plugs on. An uneventful year. OH! Except that I became friends with a Katelet. I reckon that's important. ;)

27. Little Girl is born and blesses our lives abundantly!!

28. Switched jobs/schools. I work four blocks from home!! Can WALK to school! LOVE this job, teaching pre-reading skills to K and 1st grade kids. My favorite job ever.

29. Married. Left my job. Left my house. Left my family. Left my friends (except those on the internet -- another perk of having internet friends!!). Left my church. Entire life started over in a new place 3 hours from home... very scary year!!

30. Got out of that wretched apartment and bought our current house. Yay. My own private practice really kicking off now, and boy, do I stay busy!!!

31. Work, work, work, it's all I do, so not a whole lot to say...

32. Ditto. Baby Boy is born -- bringing one good thing into this year.

33. Beginning a new chapter in my life -- can't wait to see what will be written on its pages! Looking good so far!


Everyday Housewife said...

Happy Birthday month to you!
I hope it's a good one.
Except that we were raised in different geographical areas, raised by different human beings, etc., we're very similar people.
We really are kindred spirits, aren't we?
From a different generation but not so different, Your Friend

Ashton said...

Ahhh, so your best year has been 26. No way to top that one, eh?

Rachel said...

This is awesome. Wonderful strolling down memory lane with you.
Happy Birthday!

Maria said...

Happy belated birthday :D This was lots of fun to read, I might just steal it at some point :o)

Prairie Rose said...

Everyday housewife: I told you the very first time I wrote you that we were kindred spirits. :)

ashton: I knew YOU would think 26 my best year... so vain!

rachel: Thanks! I should have included you... hey everyone, insert "became friends with rachel" in that 7th grade cool year. :)

maria: You'd best hurry before our birthday month is over! Happy belated birthday to you too!