Remembering a little-known birthday tradition
Start writing a post
Life Stages

A Birthday Ritual

My grandfather performed this little known birthday ritual for me and my mother before me.

A Birthday Ritual
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I wake to the clink, clank, clink –

of Grandpa vigorously shaking a shovel,

Emptying ashes from the coal stove.

The sweet smell of sulfur and smoke

Fills the air. Still, blazing embers ignite

new coal as Grandpa stokes the fire.

In bed, I curl into a fetal ball

between two handmade quilts -

a guard against the morning chill.

A red square in the center is the hearth,

'round it the family gathers.

Each square a part of a calendar-

That blue square marks my birth.

I run my finger along each stitch


Today is the anniversary of my birth.

I hear Grandpa's slippers sliding -

Sneaking with the stealth of a spy

across the kitchen floor.

Grasping the edge of the mattress

I prepare myself to resist what's in store.

Suddenly, he's there!

He grabs my foot and pulls and begins to sing

"Happy Birthday to you!..."

I hang on tightly, screaming -

He just laughs and pulls some more.

As I struggle to get away,

I know it is no use.

In the end, he will win. He takes me into

his loving arms, lays me on the floor and then

he rolls me under the bed.

I roll out and he rolls me back.

Laughing, I jump into his arms.

I may not get a spanking or even receive a gift,

but on one thing I can always depend

every year he will celebrate my birth

by pulling me from my slumber and rolling me under the bed.

I am reborn.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day

If you can be proud of your country on he 4th of July, you can be proud all year long.

Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day
Photo by Rob Martinez on Unsplash

I'm the child of a Marine Veteran. He may have been out of the service by the time I was born, but the Patriotic Pride he lived by has been my family's life line. I grew up with the American Flag hanging in my front porch. My dad has the "Proud to be a Marine" license plate in the front of his car. And red, white, and blue is a completely acceptable way to decorate your living room. But it doesn't end with just that. You need to know why we celebrate freedom.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Katy Perry, "Baby You're a Firework." I don't know if she was referring to the Fourth of July when she was referencing fireworks, but this song has allowed this generation to rejoice. The song "Firework" allows people of all ages to appreciate the lyrics, as the song brings forth a positive state of mind. Unfortunately, just like the song, not every knows what the Fourth of July is actually for. Many just assume it is that one time of year you get to spend time barbecuing and see fireworks light up the sky. Even though many are not aware of the American historical significance, this holiday has annually encouraged people to come together happily, which could very much be the importance of it.

Keep Reading... Show less

Why Fourth Of July is America’s Biggest Frat Party

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.


It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

The patriots of the American Revolution aren't the only ones who gave us the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

Independence Day is almost upon us, which means that for most Americans, it'll be time to bust out the lawn chairs and grills, gather around family and friends, and praise our history through patriotic garb and grand fireworks displays. It's the one day of the year where everyone forgets their political biases or historic inaccuracies, at least for a while, to look back on the hazy, illustrious history of the United States.

But, while we celebrate what people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry did for this country, they are not the only ones who embodied the very virtues that our nation loves to advocate for. This Fourth of July, here are ten American women who history tends to forget, despite the groundbreaking things they did for their country.

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Ways Barbie Movies Shaped My Childhood

My childhood would not have been the same without them.

Taylor Hawk

Barbie movies were a huge part of my childhood. I mean huge. If you are like me, I welcome you to take a healthy dose of nostalgia as I explain how Barbie movies shaped my childhood. The movies...

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments