I'm starting my Birfday Thursday April celebration with my new friend Laurie. I met Laurie through another awesome friend you will get to meet next week. But, Laurie hates cancer too and was an awesome champion for us last summer when we enrolled over 250 folks in Northwest Arkansas in our Cancer Prevention Study-3. She is a cool mom, super creative, very giving and somewhere in the midst of all that seems to always have herself pulled together and her beautiful red curls tamed to perfection.
See Laurie write....about birthdays!
When I turned thirteen my step-mom turned the birthday celebration up a few notches to celebrate my entrance into my teen years. In addition to the standard cake and ice cream, I received a satchel packed with gifts wrapped in tin-foil, and labeled with a tag that said “Teenage Survival Kit”. The tin-foil hid Clearasil, a Seventeen magazine, and assorted other accoutrements of girls in their teens (in the 70s). There was also a note with instructions leading to a full-length mirror.
It seems silly to think back on that kit now, but let me tell you, that full-length mirror was awesome! This was pre-cell phone, pre-computer, pre-pretty-much-every-thing-13-year-olds-have-today. No cell-phone cases or iTunes gift cards… no video games or mani-pedi treats. It was harsh.
the time I was 15, I was pretending that |
birthdays really didn't matter. Silly teenager.)
When my brother was preparing for his daughter’s 13th last fall, he asked for advice from me and my sister, and I told him about the kit. But things are sooooooo different in 2013 compared with 1978. OMG. (For one thing, no one spoke in acronyms.)
I listed the things I could remember from the kit, and one by one they were all deemed to be anti-climactic to a 13-year-old girl living in today’s world. Clearasil has been replaced by Proactiv, and girls have been caring for their faces since elementary school. My mom bought me my FIRST MAKEUP for my 13th birthday. My niece, on the other hand, has been wearing makeup since she was nine or ten. Next.
Seventeen magazine is not the magazine I used to read. When I received that copy for my birthday, Brooke Shields was on the cover, and there was a fashion spread full of models wearing cute, age-appropriate clothing while roller-skating. Today’s Seventeen is definitely more appropriate for girls who are actually 17. Or 21. (And here is where I begin to feel like an old lady.)
Full length mirror? Pssshhhh. Again, she’s had one for years. Next.
My sister and I finally did give my brother some appropriate and, I hope, creative ideas for a 13-year-old of 2014. Probably, my sister did a better job. Thinking about how times have changed definitely set me back on my heels a bit. My sister wasn’t even born yet when I turned 13, so she missed the late 70s. They were good years – apart from the unfortunate truth that was naturally curly hair pre-Aussie Sprunch Spray. (Thank god it came along in the next decade so I could have a relatively enjoyable early-20s.)
My birthdays today are not quite as anticipated, nor are they elaborately celebrated. A nice dinner out, a movie that I get to pick, a few cards from friends and family, and Country Living has replaced Seventeen for my evening reading material… And that’s just fine with me. I chalk it up to being old enough to appreciate the days as they come and to avoid spectacles. Or maybe I don’t want to know what’s in the “Over the Hill Survival Kit”.