Happy Birthday to me
Yeah that’s right! It’s my birthday, not yours… unless you’re David Letterman, Claire Danes, Andy Garcia, Herbie Hancock or someone else who was born on April 12th. Shoutout to everyone born in April, just in case you didn’t know, we are THE coolest. I mean seriously, our birth stone is the diamond…. Need I say more 🙂
I’m in a mood for reflection so that’s what I’m sharing today. The first memory is of the my 7th or 8th birthday. I really don’t even remember. What stands out is that my mom asked me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday. I’m not sure if this is what she had in mind but I said I wanted a porcupine cake. I believe her next question was something like “what kind of icing do you want?” Undeterred by my unusual request, she made me a porcupine cake for my birthday.You have to realize that this is long before the days of shows like “Cake Boss”, and the like, where this is probably a more frequent occurrence. I’m still not even sure how she did it. I have much greater appreciation for it now than I did at the time because of the sheer imagination an ingenuity it must have taken but it also
had to have been was definitely motivated by love. The quills on the porcupine’s back were the candles…. I mean, seriously A PORCUPINE CAKE!!! I LOVE YOU MOM!!!
Since I was born in the spring, getting a new pair of sneakers was a common occurrence for me on my birthday. The spot was usually McMahan Shoes (Headland and Delowe shopping center for all my ATLiens). This particular year (I was probably 9 or 10). Me and my dad traveled to the store and I saw a pretty cool pair of Nike running shoes (they were all tennis shoes or sneakers to me in those days), I proceeded to try them on and I walked out of the store wearing them (that was another cool thing about getting new shoes — walking out sporting your “fly” new kicks). As I think back on this I really don’t even remember how much the shoes cost, or any thing of the sort. All I knew is that I was “amped” to go to school the next day and show off my new kicks. For me, something I never gave a second thought. I knew it was coming, and I eagerly anticipated it. I am now ever-increasingly thankful that my dad was able to provide that kind of stability in my life. Thanks Dad for making birthday kicks a special memory!!!
When I turned 21 while at Iowa State University, I wasn’t really planning on the “Let me get as drunk as I possibly can because I can legally buy alcohol now” sort of celebration that is seemingly typical to many college students. Don’t get me wrong, at 12:00 a.m. April 12, 1995 I walked right up to the Taco Bell on Lincoln Way and bought a few tacos and then proceeded to the convenience store right across the street to buy a Miller Genuine Draft, well simply because I could. The ability to legally buy alcohol, however wasn’t going to be a focal point of my 21st birthday. The young lady I was dating at the time asked me where I’d like to go for dinner on my birthday. My reply was, of course “Applebee’s”. It’s everybody’s favorite neighborhood bar and grill, right? What I didn’t know until that afternoon, was that a few of my other friends had bought me tickets to the Boyz II Men concert that was playing at Hilton Coliseum that night. Let me paint the picture… This was not long after the release of “II”. Songs like “I’ll Make Love to You”, “Water Runs Dry” were all over the airwaves and they were probably at the height of their popularity. Okay, all I have to do is get in contact with _____ and let her know that _____ and _______ had gotten me tickets to the show and see if we could reschedule. The problem was that _____ was in class all day and the concert started before I would have the chance to get in contact with her and let her know what was going on. In essence I could go to the concert and stand her up on my birthday, or not go the concert. We tried calling and leaving messages at her apartment hoping she would get them in time to know I wanted to change plans, but to no avail. This is long before the days when everyone has a cell phone, checks their email several times daily, or even social media such as Facebook or Twitter appeared on the scene. My decision was to go to dinner with _____ , and _____ and _______ had to find someone else to go to the concert with them. Sometimes I wish I had gone to the concert, but when all is said and done, I’m happy with the decision I made. Thanks Erica, Jacob and Tiffany!!!
All these experiences have helped me to appreciate being appreciated or seen as valued and loved by people. More than that, however, today I am thankful that I have family, friends, co-workers, church family, fellow board members, teammates, and even acquaintances that have been woven into the fabric of my life. These experiences are just a few of the many I could have shared, but what I’d like to say is that I am thankful to God for each and every person He has placed in my life or even along my path.
Thank you and God bless you, each and every one!
Here are a few videos about Nu Shooz (get it, I made a funny) 😉 Porcupines and Boyz II Men