Saturday, August 01, 2009

Bath Day

When I was small, small enough that I needed a step to brush my teeth, had to stand on a chair to help with the dishes and was as tall as the kitchen counter, we made a chocolate birthday cake by melting chocolate bars in a pot for the icing. It was my grandfather's birthday. He was coming all the way from Vancouver to visit us.

I had a green chalkboard with the alphabet and numbers one through ten painted all along the top. As a welcome message I wrote a birthday greeting for his arrival. I wrote it all by myself and was proud of it.

"What's a ... bathday?" my brother asked.

"It's not bath day" I sneered. "It says happy birthday, Grandaddy."

My big brother, five and a half years older than me, now in sixth grade, his strawberry blonde hair darkening as it always did with the onset of winter, hugged his sides and honked with laughter. Growing red with rage I could now see the obviousness of my mistake. Bath day, how stupid.