Monday, April 21, 2008

Birthday Pox

Not many people remember the exact date they got chicken pox as a kid, but I do. It was April 21, 1957, my 6th birthday.

In my little-girl birthday excitement, I didn't even notice that I was covered with spots or that I was unusually itchy that morning as I got ready for kindergarten. In fact, I was in rather high spirits when I got to the breakfast table and Brother David said, "Hey! What happened to you?" Not understanding what he was talking about, I shrugged and said, "I fell down." He wasn't buying it, since being covered in red spots has never been much of a result of falling down.

All that fuss caught the attention of Mother, who made the diagnosis (and it wasn't "falling down"): chicken pox! Off to bed!

I whined. I begged. I felt fine, said I. After all, everyone at kindergarten made a big fuss over you on your birthday and I didn't want to miss it. I was ready to be Queen for a Day! And what about the big birthday party planned for later that afternoon? No! I was fine! Chicken pox, scmicken pox.

Well, despite my well-reasoned excuses, I was marched off to bed. No "Kindergarten Queen for a Day" for this 6-year-old. I was not a happy camper. My mother, however, had an idea about the afternoon birthday party. She got on the phone and called all the party attendees' moms with the message that little Mary has chicken pox but feels fine. The party will go on, so send your child if you like.

Well, most all the moms "liked." Either their children had had chicken pox or they wanted them to get the pox before heading off to "Big School." I think every child invited came to the party that afternoon. Fancy dresses, cake and ice cream, presents, games - all went off per the pre-chicken pox plans. I had as much fun as everyone else; I was just covered in red spots. Very festive. No telling how many instances of childhood disease I spawned on April 21, 1957.

But every birthday morning I check in the mirror to check for red spots before going forth. This morning? Well, no spots, but not the face of a 6-year-old, either.


Anonymous said...

A very Happy-Happy Birthday to you big Sis!
I don't remember the pox (didn't remember the daffodils either) but glad you can fill me in on my important family history.
Have a great day!
Love, Lil Sis

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Sis!
(pssst... we all did the math your age is NO secret)and as you always remind me... no matter how old you get I will always be older.

Your Much Older Bro.

Winston said...

Happy Berfday, Shorty... And a pox upon you -- NOT.

Elsie said...

Happy Birthday, Mary!

Liz said...

Happy birthday for yesterday Mary! I remember being dragged round to play with little girls who had chickenpox but never to a party though!

Hope you had a great day!

jomoore said...

Oops, I'm late! A very happy birthday for Monday, Mary.

(I check my face for spots every day!)

Anonymous said...

Oh dear - have I been so busy - so lost in my self and life and stuff that i missed your birthday?????? So sorry.
I wish you a belated Happy birthday!