Today is my “used to be my birthday.”
August 5th “used to be my birthday” until I was 8 years old. My younger sister and I were actually born on November 1st and 5th, respectively, one year apart.
My mom and dad always told us we were born on August 1st and 5th so we could start school in First Grade in September (this was WAY before Pre-K and Kindergarten) in the little SE Texas town of Newton.
This was also before birth certificates were required to enter school. And yes, my mom “lied” to the Newton Elementary school and told them I (and later, my sister) were each six years old. I started when I was technically 5 years old and therefore was the youngest in my class all the way up through high school.
When we moved from Newton when I was 8, our parents told us the truth. For some reason, this upset us and we both cried about it. Then, they reminded us that we had already had a birthday party back in August and we MIGHT have another one in November. That made it all okay.
My mom’s heart was in the right place. She just did not want us to wait all year to start First Grade, just because we were born two months too late, and the school certainly was not overcrowded.
Years later, I found copies of my old original birth certificate. Apparently she had “experimented” with cutting out the year date and trying to tape a new, earlier date onto the certificate. But, since this was the days before photocopiers, her experiment flopped. Her answer was to just tell everyone we were born in August instead of November.
This is the same woman who taught me to read at the age of four from books on loan from my Aunt Joanna Brown who was a school teacher. This is also the same mom who helped me get my first library card while I was still four years old and walked my sister and me to the library for new books every week.
So, happy “used to be my birthday” to me.
I Miss you, Mom.
My sister, Jeri Lynn Harness Auld, and I at Matagorda Bay in South Texas the summer before I started school that September.
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