A Sisters’ Celebration

(Maybe singing this song twice multiple times a day while washing my hands is why it is on my mind, but I’m grateful it inspired today’s writing.)

Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear Tracey, Kelley, and Shannon. Happy Birthday to you! 

I heard this tune sung many times growing up. My sisters and I all have a birthday within a week of one another- August 8th, 12th, and 13th. Mine is the 13th and I often joke with my sisters and say, “We save the best celebration for last.” As a child, I always shared my family birthday party. It was easier and more cost efficient for my parents.

I remember the generic themed happy birthday plates and napkins because we never could agree on the same theme with a six year age gap between the youngest and me. 

I remember the white plastic tables set up in the yard with black metal chairs surrounding them. 

I remember the table full of presents that we would dig through to find our name, unless it was a joint gift for all three of us. 

I remember the proud feeling I had for the beautiful sheet cake my Dad spent the morning making. He was always able to squeeze our names in cursive frosting in the middle with his perfect frosting flowers lining all four sides. 

I remember the way the three of us positioned ourselves around the cake to blow out some of the candles. 

I remember the Happy Birthday song- everyone singing and when it came to the part where you insert the names, the guests would giggle and take a moment to catch their breath. 

I remember wondering what it would be like to have my own cake, own party, own celebration just for me. 

But now, as we have grown up, I think about how I miss that joint celebration sometimes. 

9 thoughts on “A Sisters’ Celebration

  1. Your ending made me weepy…the mood I’m in. The repetition of I remember was a nice structure for sharing the details on birthdays past. Adi and Rose’s birthdays are 4 days apart. This also made me think of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think I realized they are that close. But I will never forget Wren’s. Hope your mood shifts! I know if you celebrated together you would find a way to make it unique!


  2. The bittersweet nostalgiac tone of this piece is beautifully developed through the repetition of “I remember” and when I got to the end, I felt the sting of “sometimes” whether intentional or not; it reminded me about the complicated nature of family life. It’s remarkable how a small moment can translate to such rich and meaningful writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The structure, repetition, and ending were so powerful. It is important right now to think about what we remember from our childhood, what really mattered. We cannot do it all, so we do need to think about what is essential and what will they remember. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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