Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where's the Magic? by Kat Magendie

Yesterday, I awoke and thought, “Hey, today’s my birthday.” But, by time I shuffled to the coffee pot, I’d gone on to other thoughts—what I needed to do that day: edits, writing, emails, rehearsals. Too much to do. I sighed, poured a cup. There, on the counter, I spotted a gift and card. Ah, presents! That’s always a nice reminder that it’s a special day. After opening my gift, finishing my coffee, and taking my mountain walk, I let Birthday slip away. Sure, at times I’d suddenly think, “Oh yeah! Today’s my birthday.” But where was the magic?

When I was a kid, I anticipated my birthday weeks before it arrived. And, on that day, I’d wait in giddy anticipation of my present and my cake. The wait for evening was excruciating. One birthday stands out—the year my mother decorated my cake like a scene from Cinderella, but a Cinderella that fit me, not a tall sparkly blond. On top of thick pink icing sat a carriage, a beautiful dark-haired doll, and my favorite Black Stallion horse to lead the charge. It was the most beautiful cake I’d ever seen. I stared at it, as kids will do, with that sense of magic and joy and happiness…mine mine mine! It was all for me. And second best to the cake and present, my four brothers had to take a back seat to Me. When did I let that magic slip away?

That afternoon, as I headed to Canton Middle School, where once a week I visit the kids in their after-school program, my thoughts were on things I’d left unfinished. I felt stressed and hurried, most decidedly un-birthday-like. The only reminders of birthday were the cupcakes I’d made for the kids. Ah, but those kids, unbeknownst to me, knew it was my birthday. And they were ready. When I entered the room, they sang out Happy Birthday to Kat. They’d decorated the room with balloons, and had made a large card, signed and decorated with sparkles and bright colors. Some had decorated balloons and shyly handed them to me to take home. I looked around the room, the surprise; I am sure, evident on my face. Those kids made my birthday feel like Birthday, like the special day birthdays should be. There’s my magic. Right there. When I left the school with my gifts from the kids, I was grinning like a fool. Happy Birthday to Me.

4 comments:

Angie Ledbetter said...

Yes! Happy happy birthday to you. I'm so glad the magic of SURPRISE came to visit you again.

Barbara Quinn said...

Happy, happy birthday! May there be many more surprises and much magic in the years to come. So what'd you get in that package, huh? Everyone should be fussed over on their birthday. Hugs.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Laughing - hubby bought me silver earrings - in the shape of a star, because of the play (laugh) and he knows my love of the Wolf, so he bought a beautiful silver necklace in the shape of a wolf's head.

There is this really cool shop on Soco Road - not far from me, painted all in shades of purple with all funky stuff on the inside and out - It's called Seven Silver Seas and I just love it -- that's where my golden sparkled dancers cap came from. *smiling*

Nannette Croce said...

Aw, what a nice story and happy belated birthday.I still make a big deal of my birthday. If I can't celebrate the actual day, then I pick a day I can. I always do something special even if it is just to go out and buy myself a new outfit.

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