1569. A birthday treat

(The closing sentence for this story was suggested by Alex of Alex Raphael.)

Now that I’m older (I should perhaps say “old) I look back at my childhood and marvel. There were four of us, Natalie, Bevin, Cordelia, and myself. Our parents didn’t have much to go on. Dad was injured in the First World War and was frequently in hospital. It was his knees. Our mother made ends meet by cleaning other people’s houses. But us kids never went without.

When I say “never went without” I don’t mean luxuries like ice cream and vacations in Paris, I mean we had enough food (usually), and clothes to keep us warm, and school stuff. I realize now that our parents frequently went without themselves.

It was my eighth birthday. We never got much for our birthday, except perhaps a special cake our mother would bake, or maybe some homemade party hats, or some oranges. It was always a treat. On this particular birthday all four of us kids were messing around down at the creek, and we heard our mother call “Yoo-hoo, children!” It was a hot summer’s day. It was cool messing down in the creek.

“Yoo-hoo, children! Yoo-hoo!”

“What is it?” we called.

“Yoo-hoo children! I have a treat! It’s a watermelon!”

A watermelon! We’d never had a watermelon before! We started running immediately.

26 thoughts on “1569. A birthday treat

  1. badfinger20

    Great post. What wonderful parents.
    My mom was a divorced mom in the seventies and I see now that she did without a lot for my sister and me. I never had a lot but never did without.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Isn’t that funny – I would never think of a birthday party and a watermelon. I do however equate pawpaws and children’s b’days because my friend had pawpaws at his party once.


  2. Nitin

    These days it’ll be, “Woo hoo Children! Don’t you want to play the latest Fallout game!” Oh the beauties of living in another era. We played football in the streets growing up, and I’m glad we at least went outside. Gen Y hardly does. I look outside and find one kid cycling. Just one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Not just Generation Y! Today in the supermarket parking lot, while the mother was getting the groceries, I noticed hubby and the three teenage kids sitting in the car playing something on their phones while mother struggled with bags of stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. inese

    Lovely story, no one had drowned in the creek. I held my breath, to tell the truth.
    I would love a watermelon for my birthday party, but they were not in the market until the end of August. We only ate seasonal stuff those years.

    Liked by 1 person


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