31 Mar Slice of Life: Celebrating True Gifts on My Birthday
Every year my mom made the best cupcakes for my birthday celebration at school. There was always a theme to how she decorated them. Usually spring, sometimes Easter or a favorite sport. This year she made a rainbow out of cupcakes. Each row was filled with cupcakes made of a different color. It was perfect! I couldn’t wait to go to school for my birthday celebration.
March 31 brings lots of different weather patterns. Over the years I have birthday pictures in raincoats, snow boots and shorts. This year the day started off with rain, but by mid-morning the sun started to come out. Sr. Joanna decided to put off snack, and my birthday cupcakes, to go outside for recess. She nodded assuredly as she shared her plan with me, signaling to me that I agreed before I even heard it.
Morning recess was on a parking lot and a big rolling hill down the back of the school. We loved to play tag. This year the game was getting more and more competitive. We started to play girls vs. boys. We started to get a bit rough. Sometimes there may even have been some kicking….
Oh the power of kicking! We quickly discovered you could take a person twice your size down with one … well-positioned kick. No one was getting hurt and it had a kind of playful feel to it. I don’t think there ever would have been a problem if it weren’t for the mud… and the footprints.
Over the intercom we heard…
Will Clare, Kristen, Maureen, Jennifer, Sandra and Dana please come to the office?
We quickly and silently made our way down the hall to Sr. Pauline’s office, sharing a quick glance, tucking our shirts in our skirts and hiking up our knee-highs.
Please come in and sit down.
We immediately saw Frankie sitting in the office.
What was happening at recess today?
Will someone tell me what you were playing?
We nod our heads in unison.
Was there any kicking involved?
Frankie, please stand up. Turn around.
Then I saw it…. Big Foot prints, on his pants, in well-positioned places. I glanced down, wondering, hoping someone else had Buster Brown Big Foot shoes on her feet.
Can anyone explain how these prints wound up on Frankie’s…..pants?
No one moved.
Ladies, feet up please.
This was it, the moment of truth. We all slowly raised our feet and Sr. Pauline’s eyes were immediately glued to mine.
Clare, with me please. Everyone else back to class.
She called my mom into school and I was sent home early… without my cupcakes.
That night when we celebrated my mom handed me my present.
I know you really wanted them, but you might want to reconsider….
A brand new pair of red Buster Brown Big Foot shoes. We shared a smile and I knew the day’s events would be our secret – -that was the best birthday present of all.
Thanks to Fran McVeigh who shared her process for each post this month. You inspired me to think more about my process. So …here’s a peak into my process:
I had been thinking a lot about this last post. It falls on my birthday and it is the end of a great challenge. I had been thinking about different ideas. I wanted to write something about a birthday memory with my mom. I have been inspired by Anna’s letter structure, but it wasn’t working (still going to get there though). I have also been studying how Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty bring childhood memories to life by capturing voice and setting so clearly. Rose Capelli has a knack for getting me to laugh and I have been looking at how she crafts her pieces to bring the humor to life. I was thinking and thinking and then… I found Keith. I have been trying to respond to one new person each day – his title caught my eye. I read his post about Catholic School memories and immediately remembered my story. It all came together.
I searched – Big Foot Shoes –
then Big Foot Shoes Red –
then I was off and writing….
Thanks to the #SOL16 community. I have learned so much and I have connected with so many over this past month. I have been touched by your stories, inspired by your reflections, mentored by your craft and comforted by your responses. I love that I am ending this celebration on my birthday, remembering my mom, laughing and sharing with all of you! This month has truly been a gift!
Two Writing Teachers – you rock!!!