Jessica’s little kid birthdays were very homemade. She had at home, homemade birthdays with homemade cakes and homemade presents. One year, her dad built her a homemade dollhouse from bits of wood that he had collected in the basement. He worked on it for weeks and weeks downstairs. Jessica never knew because she was too afraid to go down into the basement, too many spiders.
There was always cheerful singing and the opening of the presents while she was surrounded by all of her best friends. She would always wear a special birthday dress; those were not homemade but bought from a special store in town. She would wear her handmade bracelets made from braided stings and collected beads and charms. Jessica’s friends would gather around the oval dining draped with her mother’s old lace tablecloth and eat big slices of homemade cake off of floppy paper plates. Jessica would make homemade nametags for everybody with her favorite crayons and markers. They would all eat cake and laugh big laughs with frosting in their gums.
Her mom and dad would plan homemade games for the children. Once, they hung plain brown doughnuts from the ceiling on ivory strings, just long enough to touch the tips of our noses. The children would stand on their tiptoes, all in a row, chomping at the doughnut with their little kid teeth and their little kid hands clasped tightly behind our backs. The first person done would win and then they would all grab their doughnuts with their fingers and gobble the remaining pieces all up.
At the end of the night, it was into bed with a super-tuck from dad and a kiss from mom on the forehead as she whispered, “Happy birthday my sweet girl.” Jessica would pull the covers up tight under her chin, close her eyes and smile. On homemade birthdays, she knew she was loved.