February 14, 1997 Friday
If only all days were like this one. A day that seemed to go almost perfectly. A day in which, for just a moment (not too long), you were as close to the spotlight as you’ll get. A day that everyone wishes you well, and goes out of their way to make you happy. It may not happen very often at all for me, but that makes it all the more sweeter. Two years ago I wrote of my 16th birthday, “It may not have been glitzy or glamorous, but I am content with my birthday.” I was given that rural Illinois glitz today. I really don’t know what else to say, for I doubt I can put it into words. I felt so good today. So loved.
I got the usual “Happy Birthday!” at home, which was as I had expected. I had asked to take cookies for people today, and Dad went over to Farmington to get them early this morning.
When I got to school I found a Berenstain Bears balloon tied to my locker, with a picture of me as a baby (I later found this was from Mom). Inside my locker I found this Valentine’s card:
Happy Birthday Will!
Have fun my little love baby!
Leslie K & Emma
I went to my first class (French), and handed out most of the cookies. One of the best parts of my birthday, any year, is when people who didn’t know it was my birthday say, “Oh, you were born on Valentine’s Day?”
Sidney wouldn’t be one of those people. I had spent the last few days telling Sidney that today would be my birthday. I really hadn’t expected her to get me anything; I was just having fun, but she did. She waited until Homeroom, to make me think she hadn’t gotten me anything. She got me a neat smiley face candle, a Superman comic book, a Star Wars puzzle, and a box of cereal (I have no idea about the cereal, I guess because there’s a clown on the front?).
After school Hoke and I went to my house, where I found a newly-delivered package from Mom’s friend Linda, who lives in Chicago. She had gotten me some cologne and the Chicago Bears 1995 team video.
Around five we were supposed to leave for Grandma’s farm, in neighboring Knox County, about thirty-five minutes away. Mom said, sort of off-handedly, “Why don’t you invite Hoke?” I sounded good to me. He had never seen the farm, and my cousin Ray could not be there. After homemade pizzas around Grandma’s kitchen table I opened presents in the living room. I got some CDs, a t-shirt, and money from Grandma. I had a really good time, because it was a classic party at Grandma’s that has its own time-honored traditions and rhythms.
So now it is four minutes ’til midnight. Four more minutes to bask in my 18th birthday. Three more minutes. Only three more minutes for it to be my birthday. Three more minutes of “Me Day.” Two more minutes. All right, I just want to thank everyone responsible for making this birthday possible. Thank you so much. Oh great, one minute left. Sixty seconds quickly ticking by. Almost…almost… Midnight. February fifteenth. Well, I don’t feel any different.
Maybe it isn’t the title of the day that makes it what the day is. Perhaps the success of the day came from thinking it could only be that way. Maybe this positive view is all that is needed to make everyday something special. Everyday could be like Christmas, or like birthdays. Wait. Have I just figured out the way to make the world a utopia that every person has yearned for since the beginning of time? Simply being nice? Wait … scratch that. On second thought, the presents make the day. Never mind.
Thank you so much everyone for making this such a memorable day.
The ex-bithday boy,