Jill Slaughter on the right with her two sisters.

My birthday was always awful. There are two years between me and my older sister, but our actual birthdays are just a few days apart. Our mom made us share a cake and I hated that. My sister tells me that while I felt anger, she felt invisible. My birthday is first, so the inscription always read Jill AND Susan. Some years my mom would throw in my dad’s name because his birthday is a few days before hers and then she would have to check to see if she still had a pulse.

All Eyes

All Eyes

Jill in the 1st grade in Brooklyn New York at PS 206

Jill in the 1st grade

Having a birthday during the summer deprived me of girly grade school ceremonies. My female classmates got to wear corsages with ribbons (mostly pink) attached to jangling dog biscuits which were pinned to their shirts. They got to hand out candy and have the class sing happy birthday to them. Knowing that I would never have that experience I wasn’t simply envious, I was crushed. I didn’t tell my mother. We weren’t the pink ribbon, jangling dog biscuit, corsage wearing type of family. So from year to year this painful experience repeated.

On the first day of July I would begin my countdown. Only twenty-nine days to my birthday. Never really sure what I wanted or would wish for, it never seemed to matter. The non-Jewish kids in my neighborhood got stereos and albums, fashionable clothes or maybe something they saw in a teen magazine. I got socks. But I still maintained that countdown, always hopeful that I might get that thing, whatever that thing might be. It wasn’t that my parents weren’t generous; they just didn’t pay much attention to our birthdays. I have three siblings.

Jill Slaughter-age 13-Brooklyn New York

Jill – age 13

Days would go by, only twenty-eight days left, twenty-seven, twenty-six… and when it got to the eleventh day I would have to start using my fingers to count. I was terrible at math. So awful in fact I repeated algebra three times and wound up in my younger sister’s class, and fell into the abyss of not knowing how to count in sequence. The days rolled by and finally I was able to pick it up again on the twenty-sixth day. Only four days left to my birthday, three, two, one and then MY birthday, our cake. My birthday was always awful.

And This Is What I Know:

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/discipline-behavior/sibling-rivalry– 20 tips for your kids to get along.

http://www.iceboxcafe.com – Samples come on a tasting plate of three different types.

http://www.plantthefuture.com – For corsage that will change your life.