Thursday, June 27, 2013

Birthday Milestones

     We face many different birthday milestones in our lives: when we begin school, 16th, 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th, when we go on Social Security, 70th, and every year thereafter.

     The first milestone: the age when we first begin school, an age that changed over the years. Back in "my day," we began kindergarten at five, those who attended, and first grade at six. I attended kindergarten for a short time until we moved from right outside Randolph AFB into San Antonio. The base had kindergarten, but Ben Millum didn't. Therefore, I had to get through the summer before I could go to first grade. 

       The next age milestone is the sixteenth birthday. I wanted a party, but that didn't happen. We lived in Midwest City, and I was going into my junior year in August. I had found a home in the new school, Star-Spencer High School, and looked forward to my junior year. I started school that year, and the Air Force transferred my father to Loring AFB, Maine. What a disappointing late birthday present.  I did make it to sweet sixteen without being kissed, but ...

     Then comes the BIG eighteenth birthday. No part for that birthday either because we were in the middle of a move back to Oklahoma. However, I did have a date the night of my birthday before we pulled out the next morning. Before I was nineteen, I married Robert Zabel.

     Everyone wants to be twenty-one for different reasons. I wanted to be able to vote, not drink. We lived in Pampa, Texas, and I was the mother of an eighteen-month-old little girl named Rene. 

     The going horror story was the thirtieth birthday began the downhill slide into old age. HA! I did have a date with my husband while my parents watched our three kiddos, but otherwise it was just another birthday.

      The fortieth birthday signaled the "over the hill" event. What it signaled to me was I had two grandchildren. Apparently we started young every generation in my family. The fortieth was just another birthday, though.

     The next milestone is the age when one begins Social Security. I began at an early age because I had to take disability at fifty-eight, seven years after I became a great-grandmother. However, every birthday was just another one.

Now the seventieth birthday is supposed to be a MAJOR milestone. Mine is next month, July 28. Will it be  just another day? Who knows; I don't. I'd like to celebrate some way with people I love. Maybe I'll spend the day being thankful to have the ones I love.



Melanie said...

Except I wasn't shuffled from pillar to post thanks to the military, there are a lot of your landmark birthdays that ring true with me.

I married Don when I was eighteen, our daughter was born a year later. I turned twenty-one the year my son was born.

My most difficult landmark birthday was 25 - a quarter of a century. Yikes, I was getting old!

I never met my father's parents but my maternal grandmother never changed in all the years she lived and I remembered her. Always used one crutch to get around after breaking her hip but always pulled her wonderful white hair back with 'tortoise shell' combs.

My mum passed on after reaching the age of 80.

Age is what you make of it. I mean growing up is mandatory, growing up is optional. Or, if you haven't grown up by the time you hit 50, you don't have to. I live by both of those mantras.

4RV Publishing said...

When I was at home, my mother always baked me a birthday cake. I may not have had many birthday parties, but I always had a cake, until I left home. As I got older, fewer people remembered, however, last year, my daughter sent me a birthday cupcake made of flowers.

Janet K Brown said...

I believe it's just a number. We can truly celebrate any age. Strange how we think we'll die of humiliation over 50, but by 70, it doesn't seem that important. Enjoy your birthday to the fullest, Vivian.

4RV Publishing said...

I'll probably celebrate this birthday as I do almost all of them, at home doing nothing special.