“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory” Dr. Suess

I recently had that one special day that only comes around once a year. Yep… I had another birthday.   On my birthday, I like to sit back for a little bit and remember the past years and how my older sister and I celebrated. You see my older sister is four day shy of being two years older than me. So it was pretty natural for us to celebrate together.  We would choose our cake and how we wanted them decorated, and if we were having a small party, who we wanted there and when the party it would be. We would find out when dad was off work around our birthdays to have dinner as a family.  We would choose our birthday dinners with great anticipation and wonder what we got as our birthday gifts.  You could count on me wanting the same birthday dinner every year. I would want Hamburgers, and parmesan potatoes.  My poor dad would stand out in the cold and snow and grill them for me.

To give to a little history, my dad worked the night shift for years.   He would go to work when I was going to bed and he would be coming home to bed a little while before I would get up.  I would give my dad his nightly kisses, big hugs and I would yell, “Night, I love you dad and Bring home doughnuts”.  It’s kind of funny and ironic when you think about it, a cops kid asking for doughnuts, it sounds like it should be part of a doughnut-cop joke. But it was our thing. My dad didn’t do it that often, because of time and we really didn’t have a whole lot of extra income to buy donuts every night for his donut-holic daughter.

I have many wonderful and funny birthday memories, like the time I locked my older sister in my dad’s handcuff while playing cops and robbers and accidently broke the key off in the lock. My dad spent 3 hours drilling them off her; all the while my sister said “after this, there would never be another time when she was in handcuffs”.  But one of my favorite birthday memories is when I was really little and involves this nightly tradition. I can’t remember the age I was turning, but that really doesn’t matter. It was the night before my birthday and I said my nightly; I love you, hugs and bring home doughnuts.  The next morning I can remember waking up when dad came home, no else was awake yet and I came out to greet my dad home from his shift  And lo and behold sitting on the dining room table was a bag of the white powdered sugar doughnuts and a birthday card.  I can remember sitting on a chair, my feet swinging back and forth, because I couldn’t reach the floor and eating a couple doughnuts with my dad and my face being covered in white powdered sugar. I remember him hugging me, before heading to bed and telling me happy birthday.

I cherish that birthday card; in fact the front of card has a cartoon dog eating a piece of cake. In the inside it has my dad’s squiggly handwriting telling me how much he loves me. My dad might not have had every birthday off for his daughters, but that ok, he makes we know he loves us.  To this day when I talk to my dad weather it is text, phone calls or in person and I tell him I love him, I smile and tell him “bring home Doughnuts”.

By Ashley G., guest writer for NALES

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