The first year of life is just one of the many milestones we are blessed with. One of the most important events I remember in my life was the day I helped celebrate my daughter’s first birthday. It was the twelfth of July 2001. I had eagerly awaited this day since she was born, and to help with the celebration, I invited a small crowd of family and friends to our home for a birthday party and cookout.
Getting prepared for this eventful day was exciting. Sending out invitations, buying the food, decorations, party favors for the children, and most importantly, choosing what kind of cake to get. The cake was a half of a sheet, which was able to feed up to 25 people. It was made with fresh strawberries that tasted like they were picked right from the patch as a filling, surrounded with butter cream icing, and decorated with "Baby Looney Tunes" caricatures on top. My mother and her fiance graciously volunteered to do the preparation of the food for the party.
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I can remember the temperature on that day, being hot and steamy. The air was so thick with humidity you lived to be in the air-conditioning. Friends and family started to arrive around four o’clock. At the same time the guest were arriving, the birthday girl was upstairs, taking a very much needed nap. Request were starting to be made for her to make an entrance. I went upstairs to awaken her, as she was coming down the stairs she had a look of surprise and confusion on her face, not really sure of what to make of what’s going on. As she started getting a little more comfortable, it was time to start playing some games.
The one game that sticks out the most to me is the miniature pinata (which is not really a game), which we hung from a tree in the front yard. We hung it low enough so that the children would be able to get some hits in to bust the pinata open wide enough for the candy to expel out. After about 20 chances with the children, the adults began to take turns, and eventually the candy expelled out, sprawling all over the ground. The children quickly began to crawl around, grabbing candy from everywhere, trying to make sure they received an equal share.
Once we finished with the Pinata, it was time to eat. My mother and her fiance were receiving compliments all afternoon. The menu consisted of: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Ribs, Chicken, Potato Salad, Tuna Macaroni Salad, Fruit Salad, Baked Beans, String Beans, Deviled Eggs, Potato Chips, Iced Tea, Sodas, and Juice for the children. When everyone finished eating their food, it was time sing "Happy Birthday", which was kind of hilarious because she had a "Happy Birthday" tiara that she would not keep on the top of her head, and while we were trying to sing her "Happy Birthday", she was eagerly trying to take the "Baby Looney Tunes" caricatures off of the cake. Not to mention, sticking her fingers in the cake. We had a little bit of a hard time getting her to grasp the idea of blowing out the candles. After maybe, 3 blows, her father blew them out for her.
The whole cake was quickly devoured by everyone except the piece that said, "Happy Birthday Taijah". After awhile, her interest quickly moved from the cake to the assortment of colorfully decorated gift bags, with matching tissue paper and cards attached. We proceeded to the opening of the gifts, with her getting excited with each and every wonderful gift as they were unwrapped or taken out of their bags. As time winded down, and the guest started gravitating to the door, we thanked everyone for coming by to help us celebrate such a joyous event. As the last person was leaving, I remember thinking to myself, this is just the first of many more birthdays to come, and that I’m glad that my daughter had such good time, and that we were able to celebrate her first birthday with family and friends.
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