On My Mother’s Birthday

Red's Wrap

We weren’t much for celebrating birthdays in our family.  Oh, occasionally, there would be a cake and I do remember one party with an assortment of kids around our dining room table.  But it was only once.  It’s a family’s mom who organizes things like birthdays and if she’s unhappy or not well or preoccupied, not a lot of celebrating goes on.

And because my mother was frequently sad and seemingly living in her mind somewhere else besides in our house, birthdays were small; not forgotten, no, just small.  Later, when I had my own kids who were spending their time with friends whose parents let them pin the tail on live donkeys and gave everyone hot air balloon rides for their birthdays, I realized how minimalist my birthday training had been.  Once, after I’d baked a chocolate sheet cake and covered it with Pillsbury frosting for my 8-year old daughter’s…

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