The ticking of the clock brings all sorts of emotions: I am 5 years old sitting at my mother’s kitchen table. My ironed and starch crinoline slip itches under my ruffled party dress. My skinny ankles are adorned in lacy socks with shiny black patent leather shoes. The birthday gift is wrapped with a pink satin ribbon. On the wall is the cat clock with a tail that sways back and forth ticking off the seconds … tick … tock … tick … tock. I don’t take my eyes off of it for a moment as I watch it painstakingly move toward five minutes til two. Finally, finally it is time, and I jump down off the chair, pick up my present and walk out the back door to my best friend’s birthday party. This memory of waiting is as clear to me as if it just happened yesterday.