Pen and Ink Possibilities: A very happy birthday to you

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By Kirsten Laskey

Birthday parties have always been a big deal in my family. Since I was young, the dining room is always decorated with streamers and balloons and we are given the privilege of selecting the dinner menu, served on my great-grandmother’s hand-painted china.

When my sister and I were little, we always requested a spaghetti dinner. When we were older, it was my mother’s triple layer chocolate cake that we constantly chose for dessert.

Besides presents to the birthday person, my mother handed out goodie bags for each member of the family.

There were, of course, “those special” presents – the bathroom cleaning device called a Scumbuster that my mother received and the fez my sister and I gave our father. My father wore his present with pride throughout his birthday dinner while my mother, slightly less than pleased with her rather mundane gift, quickly disposed of the Scumbuster at the nearest big box store.

It wasn’t just the material details that made our birthday celebrations so special it was the fact that we always shared them with each other. My sister and I had birthday parties with our friends but mostly our parties were close-knit, family affairs.

When my sister had her birthday on Thursday, I realized there is nothing better than adding more family to the festivities.

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