Birthday Girl, 5

On the morning of the day we’re celebrating Leah’s fifth birthday, I’m thinking about memorable birthdays I have known. I figure, including my own, I’ve probably celebrated some 500 or so birthdays over the years, from baby parties where the celebrant has not a clue to crone parties (though I’ve not been to one where they decorate with black, tg). In no particular order, then:

Galen’s first birthday: I labored over individual chocolate cakes baked in special molds and then drizzled with even more chocolate sauce. Several adults hovered over him and someone had the camera (probably some dumb disposable) on hand. As he took his first bite of chocolate his face screwed up as though we’d made him suck on a lemon. The rest of us ate up the cake.

One of the boy’s birthdays the first year in Berea, when they were 3 and 4: I went to a lot of trouble to invite kids–children of my new colleagues–and had games planned, party favors, gifts, and so on. I neglected to think about the fact that none of the kids knew each other, so when one of the boys (probably Galen) ran off to the bedroom in tears, I realized what a fiasco I’d created.

Ken’s 50th: surprise party at Katie Ward’s house (which she graciously loaned us for the occasion), with friends from WKU, HCC, and Ken’s church. Fortunately we were old enough to get along with people we didn’t know. I hired a guy to come up and lead line-dancing, which was a lot of fun. Success.

Line Dancing, there's Barry, Jane (not me), and Karen, a little bit of Libby.

Line Dancing, there’s Barry, Jane (not me), and Karen, a little bit of Libby.


Ralin’s 1-2-3-4-5th birthdays, always at our house because of the pool, always a lot of fun, the house overrun with his various families. We have a picture of him at one sitting on the concrete, his disposable diaper puffed up with pool water, looking like a happy Buddha.

Omni’s 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8th birthdays, or most of those–always a dinner out at a restaurant of her choice, always with something special her mom made, like a pink castle cake. High quality cameras documented them all. Here’s one where we spent the afternoon at Jackson’s Orchard then came home to this masterpiece:

Omni's 2nd

Omni’s 2nd

My 60th, where we went to The Tribe in Nashville, ate at Yum Yum’s, watched a drag show, then danced to the incredible loud and never-ending disco. So much fun. And here is Molly’s a couple of years ago–singing and playing at Wha-Bahs:

Molly singing at Wha-Baa's

Molly singing at Wha-Baa’s

And then we have today’s, for Leah….First, fun in the pool, then serious consideration of the candle-lighting pre-blowing.

Leah's 5th party, pool fun with friends

Leah’s 5th party, pool fun with friends


Leah's cousin Omni with friend Ralin racing to get out of the pool first--Ralin won, though it doesn't look like it here.

Leah’s cousin Omni with friend Ralin racing to get out of the pool first–Ralin won, though it doesn’t look like it here.


Friend Elizabeth climbing out

Friend Elizabeth climbing out


Should we all blow together? A serious decision. Yes is the answer, but if that doesn't work out, it's okay.

Should we all blow together? A serious decision. Yes is the answer, but if that doesn’t work out, it’s okay.

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