Birthdays have always been very special to me. Even though my kid birthdays were no where close to as lavish as they are today, they were always memorable. My Mom wasn’t much of a baker and grocery stores didn’t have fancy cakes back then but I always remember blowing out the candles and having chocolate cake. Maybe my Mom made it, maybe it was store bought, I don’t remember that part. I do remember, it was always good!
I fondly remember the gathering of friends. It was always a big deal deciding who to invite and as we got older, the number for a slumber party got even smaller. We also used to have celebrations in our neighborhood…. Our neighbors would all come for a BBQ or even just for cake. It was another opportunity to celebrate the simple things in life—a child’s birthday. My birthday was in March, March 6 to be exact, and so school was always in session and I remember counting the days with my friends and hoping for the perfect gift. Now many years later I don’t remember one single gift I got for a birthday. I know I got many over the years—clothes, money, maybe jewelry but the most treasured are the cards I would get from my Mom and Dad. My Mom was a card nut! She always wanted to have the perfect card for us… and I have all 22 of them—one for every year my Mom was on this earth with me. Every year I take them out and read them all over again. There was always a special sentiment written just for me by Hallmark :) and then the words she wrote to inspire me and remind me how much I was loved and what she wished for me. As I read the cards, I reminisce just a little, often with tears in my eyes hoping that I have turned out to be the daughter in my Mom’s grand vision. By the way, thanks to my Mom I have become the card nut in the family and I have taught my husband the same habit. Rather than gifts we shower each other with the best cards we can find then hide them around the house and find them all day long.
This year is a very special birthday—my 60th. To some of my kid fans that will seem ancient. How is that possible they might say because I am so much like them? I still feel 6 or 16 or 26. Thanks to my parents and all of my friends and all the kids on who visit BABW and BABV who make me feel special, I still count the days and I am sure that the night before I will not be able to sleep. I don’t care about gifts anymore (well not nearly as much as I used to) though it is nice to get the cards and good wishes. In fact now, I prefer to celebrate my birthday by giving gifts to others. Last year on buildabearville.com I got to give out gifts to all our Guests on March 6 and that got me thinking—how could I do more? This year to cele-bear-ate I have asked all my friends to join me in celebrating teachers and their classrooms by donating to donorschoose.org because if it wasn’t for my teachers, all of them, I would not be where I am today. It is the least I can do to pass on the great learning legacy I received by sharing it with others.
My husband and I had talked about a big party and then decided that instead we would make a lead gift to donorschoose.org and then challenge our friends to match it and get the amount up to $60,000 for teachers in honor of this special 60th birthday. With the tough economy, I may have to stretch it out further into the year to make the goal but I am still BEARY hopeful. Like many children in our urban schools today, I was the first in my family to attend and graduate from college. I have been able to achieve great success because of the outstanding teachers I had while in public school in Miami, Florida. Hopefully, this birthday gift will be the best ever because it will be shared by so many teachers and the children in their classrooms. Check out this link to see more details and feel free to add to the gift. No amount is too small! Every posted project is worth it. http://donorschoose.org/maxineclark60birthday
We will still have my birthday celebration on BABV.com only bigger and better than last year, after all, I am one year older! Thanks to all of our citizens of buildabearville.com– we have been receiving suggestions for months now. I am sure it will be the biggest birthday party I have ever had. Another change—I no longer ask for birthday cake but instead birthday pie—APPLE PIE that is!! It is my absolute favorite and fortunately apples are pretty easy to find in March and some of my friends are very good bakers. That’s another reason why they call me MaxineBearyLucky!
Just 26 more days but who is counting :)
Hugs to all,
Maxine the Bear-thday Bear