When we’re little, birthdays are awesome, but the older we get (usually once we reach the last awesome birthday that allows us to get into bars legally) the more we’d like to forget our birthdays and even come to dread them. Some of the traditions remain the same, but with small differences. For example, sometimes we still have slumber parties, but these days it’s mostly people who are too drunk to drive home passing out around the house. Sleeping bags aren’t even required. The floor does just fine for most and if you wake up cold, there’s always a rug within reach to wrap yourself up in.
As a child, there’s a kind of magic to your birthday that’s a lot like the epic exhilaration in waiting for Christmas morning or Halloween. You just have to know what your parents got you for presents. Was it a new bike? A Barbie house? Maybe a red Barbie Mustang complete with a legit cell phone? Maybe a villain from Street Sharks, if your parents were cool like that. Nothing even compares to that feeling. We all saw the video of Nintendo 64 Kid. That is exactly what I’m talking about. You know your present was a good one if your reaction causes your parents to consider hospitalizing you.
And it’s not just the presents that make your birthday rock. When your best friends are over and you play Hide and Seek (best when played in a pitch black basement); Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board (like this ever worked, but you did it every year anyway); prank calling cute boys from your class and asking who they liked; contests to see who could stuff the most hunks of Double Bubble gum into their mouths as physically possible without choking to death; and of course, Truth or Dare. One of my favorite and most memorable birthdays from my childhood was my seventh birthday. My mom got me a 101 Dalmatians cake and my three best friends came over for a slumber party and games. I got a Puppy Surprise and a bunch of Breyer horses (I’ve always been just a little horse-obsessed) and probably Barbie stuff too. I’m twenty-three now and I still remember parts of this particular party.
As disappointing as birthdays are these days (since, let’s face it, we’re just getting older now) I can still look back to how awesome they were when I was little kid and never believed I’d ever survive to be considered a grown up someday. All the old photos my mom took certainly help keep the memories fresh, but at least I can thank her for never filming my reaction and sticking it on Youtube ten years later. Of course, people who know me best still call me My Little Pony Girl - with or without twelve million views on the internet.