My Eighth Birthday

Good morning.

Do you remember when you were a kid and you had a birthday?  I mean, birthdays were the grandest things and you wanted the whole world to know about it. Nowadays, I try to forget those puppies.

Anyway, when I was in third grade at Sharpe Elementary School, it was almost time for my birthday and naturally I was very excited.  Our third grade teacher’s name was Mrs. Smith and she a very nice lady with a sweet smile.

sc05c387eeBefore I tell you about my birthday, I have to tell you this first.  When I was a kid, I did not like hamburgers.  We didn’t have them at home and they just didn’t sound good to me.  Every Friday at school was hamburger day only I wouldn’t eat my hamburger.  I ate the french fries and whatever dessert we had.  Mrs. Smith somehow noticed that I would always throw away my hamburger so she decided she would try to get me to eat one.

So, one Friday she came over and sat down beside me at lunch and asked that if she cut my hamburger in half, would I just try to eat it.  She put pickles and mustard on it for me so I thought I should at least try it just because she was so nice.  Well, believe it or not, I kind of liked it but I still didn’t want a whole burger.  For the next few weeks, she sat with me and cut my burger in half for me.  Eventually, she stopped cutting it and I began to eat the whole thing.  Mrs. Smith went out of her way just to help me and I never forgot her for that.

Now, back to the birthday.  I went into class the morning of my eighth birthday and told Mrs. Smith about it.  She always announced the birthdays to the class and I was so excited that today she would announce that I was eight years old.

I waited and waited for Mrs. Smith to announce my birthday but she just wouldn’t do it.  So, I walked to her desk about every hour and reminded her that it was my birthday.  She would just smile and say that she knew that it was my birthday. Toward the end of the day, I was getting worried that she was never gonna announce my birthday to the class so I made my way up to her desk just one more time to remind her.  Again, she just smiled at me.

I turned to go back to my desk and tried not to show how disappointed I was and that is when she totally surprised me.  When I had my back to her, she brought out her paddle and gave me a whack and yelled “Happy Birthday Karen!”  Everybody in class laughed and I was shocked beyond words.  I turned around and looked at her, and she was smiling that sweet smile of hers and I just melted.  She hadn’t forgotten me after all.

I don’t remember too many birthdays being as eventful as that one, but Mrs. Smith didn’t let me down on my eighth birthday.

See ya.


Good morning.

Did you ladies ever want to be or were you ever cheerleaders?  I guess that is every little girl’s dream at one time or another.  I know I wanted to be a cheerleader when I was in grade school.

When you got to the 7th grade at Sharpe, you could try out for cheerleader for the basketball season.  About a week before the tryouts, all of us girls would take turns leading yells in the gym every morning before the bell rang.  The gym was usually full too – most of the kids got on the bleachers and helped us cheer. The higher you could jump, the louder they yelled for you.  And, believe it or not, I could jump pretty high.

So, the big day finally came and we were all prepared to try to win.  What made it even more exciting was that out of the six cheerleaders chosen, only two would come from the 7th grade. That made it a really big contest for all of us in the 7th grade.

About an hour before the tryouts, another friend and I were called to the principal’s office.  Now, that could have meant any number of things, none of which would be good.  So, as we made our way to Mr. McNutt’s office, we were both pretty scared of what was coming.  We couldn’t think of anything that we had done wrong, but you just never knew.

Mr. McNutt’s office was at the top of a gazillion stairs and we got more scared as we climbed those stairs.  We got to the office and there were two teachers and Mr. McNutt waiting for us.

We were both told that we had potential “C’s” on our report card and if we got cheerleader and made a “C” on our report card, we would have to sit out the basketball games for six weeks.  Well, you might as well have punched me in the stomach; I was totally devastated and so was my friend. They didn’t tell us we couldn’t try out, but we weren’t encouraged to try out either.  We left Mr. McNutt’s office with our tails tucked between our legs and went back to our classroom.  The cheerleader tryouts went on as scheduled with two less in the running.  I didn’t even want to go to the tryouts but that wouldn’t have been nice.

One of the 3rd grade teachers was a neighbor of ours and later in the day when she saw me, she asked why I didn’t participate in the cheerleader tryouts and I told her what Mr. McNutt and the other teachers had said.  She was a little put out and told me I should have stopped by her classroom after getting my bad news.  She also said that I didn’t have a “C” just the potential for one.  She was really sweet and I do wish now that I had stopped and talked to her.

But you know, I lived through that disappointment and I still had a great time cheering for the basketball team.

See ya.