I wish I knew who sang that so I could give her proper citation. All I know is that it is one of my favorites from a collection I like to refer to as "Marae music." I will offer a guess though; Missy Higgins? The Weepies? I really don't know. Hopefully Marae will leave a comment with the right artist. Anyway, it's a very pretty song. And I wish Marae were here right now singing it and playing it on her guitar so that I could rest my chin on her knee. The Romans can have their Golden Age. I will always bask in the memories of the Brawns Era. Anyway...
My birthday is tomorrow! Yay! I have always loved my birthday. I know some people don't like to celebrate their birthday or don't want people to know how old they are or something. Maybe I'll get like that when I'm 30 or something (that is way too many apples to draw on a tree!), but for now I am still in love with my birthday and having birthday parties. I can't remember a year when I didn't have a birthday party with lots of friends. And I can't remember a year when we didn't play with the parachute.
"The Parachute" is a large white and orange parachute with the strings cut off. If I remember correctly from what I was told, my mom purchased it at an army surplus store a long time ago. We just play with it like you would any other parachute- have everyone hold an edge and pull it up and down at the same time, pull it up high and then hide underneath it, bounce balls and balloons on it, play shark attack. There is one game, however, that is not quite as pleasant. In fact, it is a little dangerous. I don't remember when this game was introduced, but it had to have been sometime in middle school or high school when I started inviting boys to my birthday parties. Let's see if I can describe it.
The parachute is laid out flat on the ground. One person sits in the middle with their back straight up, perpendicular to the ground. Their knees are pulled in close and, most importantly, they need to hold their arms up in front of their neck, with their elbows pointing to the ground. Then, very carefully, everyone else picks up an edge and walks very slowly in the same direction around the person until the person is twisted up in the parachute. Once the person is twisted up, everyone else holding on to the edges will be very close to the person in the middle. Then, somebody counts it off- "one, two, three, pull!"- and all at once everybody holding on to the edges runs backwards (away from the person in the middle) as fast as they can. This will cause the person in the middle to spin around uncontrolably.
Let me just say that it sounds a little fun-it always sounds REALLY fun to the boys- but it's really not. It just kind of hurts. And it especially hurts if you're a dummy and you don't believe me about the importance of holding your arms up by your neck because then you run the risk (and it's a pretty high risk at that- it almost always happens) of having the parachute twisted up around your neck. And that hurts a lot.
I always tell myself each year that we're not going to play that game, but inevitably some boy who was at the birthday party on a previous year remembers the game and suggests it and wants to play it. Sigh. We shall see. I think my favorite parachute activity is still just billowing it up like a mushroom and then hiding underneath it. I don't think that will ever lose its magic.
I also love my birthday parties for another reason. I have almost always had friends from different social circles- church, school, etc.- and birthday parties are like one big yearly friend reunion. I think sometimes my friends would prefer that I only invite people they know to my birthday parties, but I love having all the people I enjoy laughing with there at the same time. It's so fun to be surrounded by friends.
And it's so fun to eat cake and ice cream! Yay! Hooray for my birthday tomorrow!