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Saturday, December 6, 2008


I have mentioned several times in my blog, about first times, first things.  Tonight was Nikki's ninth birthday. I know for many years as my birthday approaches I don't really look forward to it. It's not the getting older bit, because I know I'm aging like a fine wine, but just the attention that people want to throw on you.  I think most mean well.  But maybe holidays in general would mean more if they were celebrated every five years, rather than every year.  Just think how exciting the holidays would become.  Getting back to the main point here, Nikki's birthday.  We don't get to see the kids that "live" here on the weekend during the week so we celebrated a few days early.  Nikki is from a very poor family.  She doesn't speak a word of English, except when she sits next to me and repeats all my words.  She has the most beautiful smile that runs from ear to ear.  Nikki does go to school and she is a good student,
but English is really coming slow to her.  "Without question let's have a birthday party for this little girl this weekend" I said to my friend Mira when she asked if I wanted to celebrate.  Mira is Nikki's aunt.  
I left the cake buying up to Mira, and asked her to buy Nikki a Barbie doll.  I had heard someone say that Nikki loved Barbie dolls.  As I walked down the stairs  Saturday morning I sang a rousing  quick little Happy Birthday to Nikki, she gave me her biggest smile. We left the decision of lunch to the birthday girl, and she chose the nastiest junk food that the Philippines has to offer. It is loved by the masses,  and has recently found an audience in the USA, but it truly is the worst most inedible garbage known to man.  But how can you take that away from someone who has so little.  Her aunt told her to finish her plate at lunch because it is a treat that she will probably only have once or twice this year.
The day went pretty uneventful, other than the rental car dying and having to find another car. Wasn't that hard to find, and I will have a new automatic on Monday.  I'm looking forward to the new car as I have held off driving because the car I have now is an standard.  
The kids went for a nice swim at the pool and
then we made dinner.  As usual the kids rushed away from the table to watch cartoon network, and a few minutes later we asked them to come back and sit down for dessert. I lit the number nine on the cake and lifted it out of the box, turned around so all the kids saw the cake, and five kids mouths dropped open and followed my few steps to the table, staring at that big chocolate cake as I set it down in front of the birthday girl.
Just a chocolate cake with a few flowers I thought.  I asked Nikki which piece she wanted and someone translated, but she just smiled.  I cut her a big piece with a big flower.  She gave me her best little "thank you" that she could muster, and it was just so nice to hear.  I cut pieces for everyone, as the volume seemed to rise as the kids were devouring all that sugar.  Nikki's sister Rose said something to Mira, and I asked what she said.  Rose didn't know that Nikki was getting a cake for her birthday.  I made a face like what do you mean?  Mira told me then that this was the first birthday cake for either Nikki or Rose had ever had.  At first I thought to say "really"?
But I just looked at Mira, then at Nikki smiling with chocolate on her face, and then had a little hollow feeling in my stomach, but then I  just went on.  

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