|added Thu August 05 2004 at 11:54 PM
|I took two small steps down memory lane today. After work and grocery shopping and dinner, I drove out to the Ryskamps. Jon told me when I saw him yesterday that they were throwing a party for a kid in his ward with Down's Syndrome. I guess that the plan was to try to get as many people there as possible, even if the kid didn't know them. He didn't really need gifts, but the attention of having two dozen people congregating just for his birthday was significant.
The first step on memory lane goes way back to one of my earliest childhood memories. I'm pretty sure it was in Maryland, so it must have been my sixth or seventh birthday. I would bet that it was the sixth because I seem to remember the seventh birthday being significant growing up, and this memory isn't tied into anything like that. My dad taught seminary at the time, and he had his class over for dinner one night. I doubt that he even thought about the fact that this night he scheduled happened to be his youngest son's birthday, but Mom and Dad stood outside with a box of gifts as the students came in.
Of course, I didn't realize what Mom and Dad were doing at the time, I just remember these "big kids" all bringing me gifts. I'm sure we probably had spaghetti because that's what mom cooks for large group dinners. I honestly don't remember anything else right now about that birthday but feeling special. The gifts themselves were rather insignificant. I (think I) remember one of them being a Frosty the Snowman coloring/activity/whatever book. That's really not important. In the mind of a six (seven?) year-old, the important thing was that so many people were there for *my* birthday. I'm sure that Cary (today's birthday boy) felt about the same way.
I think for tonite I'm going to forgo the second step down memory lane. I'm tired and have work tomorrow, plus I'm not sure how much I want to talk about this string of memories. They're not really all that relevant, and while the first pearl is happy, the string that is attached brings back other not-so-desirable memories. So if I'm reminded of it again tomorrow or the day after, perhaps I'll talk about it at a time when I'm more in my own mind.