Which song will always stop a kid in their tracks and bring a smile to their face? The first hint is that it’s the most sung English song. The second hint is that it was written in 1893 by two teachers. Patty Smith Hill wrote the lyrics and her sister, Mildred J. Hill, composed the melody for it. The song was originally “Good Morning to All,” before the words were changed. Okay, okay, enough of the suspense. Why, it’s the world-famous “Happy Birthday” song! I never knew the history behind that little four-line ditty!
My kids love to play “birthday” over and over, months after their birthday has come and gone. I can’t blame ‘em. Who wouldn’t want to keep that special feeling alive? We typically have an assortment of random cake plates and napkins left from past parties, so it works out. They just round up the needed party goods – a John Deere plate, a Hello Kitty napkin, a “You’re ONE!” party hat, a princess cup and they’re set! They gather ‘round the Leap Frog cake toy and the singin’ begins!
Technically, you could just put a candle on a breakfast pancake, a sandwich at lunch or a roll at supper and sing your heart out whenever you please. That’s just what you and the fam might need on certain days – a good ole round of “Happy Birthday to You!” My youngest likes to sing, “Happy Birthday to ME,” instead and that works, too, if you happen to be a party of one that day. Technically, today IS a gift – maybe that’s why we call it “THE PRESENT?” I’m just sayin’.
We have several family birthdays in the summer, including this momma’s, so my children like to talk about things they could get me. “Hey Mom, you know what would be a GREAT gift?” asks my daughter. “A color bow! Actually, we all could wear them in our hair and they could change colors to match our mood. Like, it could turn red when we’re mad, yellow when we’re happy and blue when we’re sad.” Hmmm…now, there’s an idea. Especially, since I’m not certain what version of her I’ll get when she bursts out of her room like Kramer each morning. Some of us do mornings…some of us don’t.
Another cool gift they mentioned was “magic sprinkles.” They thought it would be fabulous to be able to sprinkle them on me so I could grow octopus arms. I guess that’s because I’m always trying to explain to them how I DON’T have eight arms to get their dinner requests for a napkin, something to drink, more spaghetti, another piece of bread, more Ranch dressing and the list goes on. So, “magic sprinkles” sounds quite enticing.
I think a little book of how to read a four-year old’s mind would be a thoughtful gift, too. So, then, when my daughter asks me to solve her riddle as to why on earth there is a soapy water-soaked towel on the floor and water in the toothpaste tube, I will know the answer.
“You don’t really want anything for your birthday, Mom, do you?” asks my son. “You just want us to be good that day, right?” “Yes. Yes, that is exactly what I want, son. No arguing, no bickering, no taking things from each other, no tattle-telling,” I respond reflectively.
I remember wanting different things for my birthday as a child – some neon shoe laces, a pair of roller skates with a cover that had a poofy ball, a belt with my name on the back (yep, I sure did!), a jam box, scratch-n-sniff stickers, a Cabbage Patch doll and a pet monkey (seriously), just to name a few. But, now, a peaceful day with my kiddos singin’ “Happy Birthday to You!” would be just perfect. And, (if you’re reading this, hubby), some take-out Mexican food for supper, would just be…icing on the cake!