An internet acquaintance of mine, Andrea, is celebrating her birthday and asked people to share their birthday memories… here is mine.
I vividly recall my 4th birthday.
We were living in Madrid and I was going to a Montessori school. We were allowed to bring treats for the rest of the class. I had asked my mother to make some mint brownies, they were my favorite. On my birthday she showed up at the school with them and a whole bunch of other treats in tow. So, I was tasked with serving my classmates and there were so many treats they decided to open it up to the other classrooms. When I was serving the last class the only treat left was the brownies I had requested. I went to my mom, and lamented (complained) that I would not get any if I served those. She looked me in the eyes and proceeded to tell me that sharing was what we were supposed to do, that it was not a very nice thing to be selfish when serving others. I could tell that she was very serious. I think my eyes must have welled up because she offered to make me another batch later. which sorta helped, but not much. I had been looking forward to the mint brownies for the whole morning.
So, I picked up the pan, and walked around and served the older kids who were the lucky recipients of the treat I had wanted. I watched my hands scoop them up with a spatula and carefully place the square on a napkin in front these kids who I did not really know. And as I watched my hands repeat this movement until I served the last one… my mind was reeling with the thought that my mother must really love me to teach me the lesson about sharing and to not be selfish. Really, it was such a profound moment; what with feeling my mothers love, learning that sharing is an important part of community, learning that it was easy to have selfish tendencies. I treasure that lesson and keep it very close to my heart. When I tell it in front of my mother she always cringes and thinks it is a bad thing, but really I think ti was the best present she has ever given me.
And no, I don't recall that she made them for me later. Somehow, I think it is more powerful and special because she did not.