I couldn't tell you much about the guest list (kindergarten classmates, of course) or the gifts or even the cake (was that the year I had a Snow White themed cake? I don't remember), but I do remember loving the feeling of that day. I got to eat pizza and cake with my friends and a magician. What could top that?
The years following, I wish I could say birthdays were just as fun. While I enjoyed the family traditions of dinner and cake at my grandparents', and the way my mom would let me sleep in 10 more minutes in the morning before school, I don't have many fond party memories the way pizza and foam bunnies made me feel. For my 12th birthday, I had planned a party at my house, and my wonderful mother and I spent the morning putting up decorations (it was supposed to be music-themed, so we had this paper music notes on the walls and the cups and plates were purple with music notes and treble clefs on them) and getting food ready. I was excited about it because at this point in my life, my hair loss had sped up and I went from losing small chunks sporadically to losing fistfuls by the day. But this party would make me forget that I was losing my identity and losing my confidence, and it would make me feel like I still had friends even though people had stopped hanging out with me at recess and I was spending more time in the library reading than playing outside.
So the Saturday of the party comes, but the only people who showed up were my sister's friends because my mom used to let her invite one or two friends to keep her company. When I called my "best friend" to ask where she was, she said she forgot. Another friend (who had RSVPed, by the way) said she had just invited friends over to her house and couldn't come.
After that, I really hated my birthday.