My fifth birthday was the by far the best celebration I’ve ever had. It’s also one of the first I remember. My mom spent weeks planning it and recruited not only our whole household’s help, but the help of my brothers’ friends as well. It was a princess themed and I was the queen. Giant styrofoam walls were painted to mimic a castle, and the ceiling was a canopy of tulle-ish lace. My brother Santi was the prince and sat beside me, being greeted as our ‘guests’ filed in. My other brother, Conrad, played his trumpet as they did so while his friend announced each person’s name. I had a crown and a cape, and sat on a throne as this happened. Santi, Conrad, and friends were dressed in pantaloons and vests with fancy collars. They were champs for playing along. To say I was, and am lucky, is to say too little. My family is like this; we go all out and we all pitch in; I love that.