Most little girls grow up dreaming of an amazing Sweet 16 birthday party when they turn 16. I was One of these girls. I imagined lots of friends and family, a giant cake, tons of balloons, a beautiful dress and lots of presents.
Several days before my birthday, my family and I ventured from our home in Michigan to attend the annual Potawatomi Gathering powwow in Wisconsin, where I was to relinquish by title of Miss Potawatomi Nation and support newly crowned princess in her duties.
The morning of my birthday, we woke up early to get on the bus to make our journey home. Somewhere in Illinois, we made a stop to grab lunch and when we got back on the bus, the driver noticed I wasn’t my usual happy self and asked me what was wrong. I told her it was my birthday. She assumed I was just upset that I was stuck on a bus on my birthday.
About 20 minutes later, she is making announcements and said “Let’s all wish a happy 16th birthday to Amanda” and the passengers burst into song singing Happy Birthday and clapping. My parents who would later go on to describe me as being moodier than usual that day, were in complete shock when they came to realize they had actually forgotten my birthday.
They immediately jumped up and wished me happy birthday and joined in the singing. They felt bad they had forgotten and apologized.
Some days passed and I let my mom know that I was kind of disappointed as I had been hoping for a party. She then informed me, “You know that saying, Sweet 16 and never been kissed? Well we would have had one but you have already been kissed so you can’t have a sweet 16.” Then doubled over in laughter. She wasn’t serious of course and we eventually had our usual birthday celebration of dinner, movie and presents and I was happy to celebrate.
So it really happened, my 16th birthday turned out just like the movie Sixteen Candles and 20 years later, I still bring up the time my family forgot my birthday.