The best part about all the birthdays this past week was that I got to be with each person as they celebrated their special days. We picked up my sister Sarah from the airport in Indy at 8 pm on May 14th, the day she was born. (Sister-in-law Marie had gathered me from the same airport the previous afternoon.) We headed back to Jared and Marie's for a chocolate fondue party with brother Jared and sister Kara, and one little Taylor. Many laughs, more calories, and a few presents later, we decided it was time to snuggle into our air mattresses and go to sleep. Well, we snuggled in, at least. Sarah and I shared a room and an Aero bed, and we talked 'till well after 4 o'clock in the morning. How did we ever get any rest when we used to share a room? That must be why I can sleep so well now-a-days. I'm still repaying that sleep-debt from my growing-up years. What did we talk about? I can't even remember, at least not four hours worth, but I do remember that it was wonderful to have TIME to share. Often our conversations are snagged while one or the other of us cooks dinner, drives somewhere, or folds(me) irons(her) laundry. Now we had no dinner to get on the table, no clothes(or kids) needing attention, no arriving anywhere and needing to go. No appointments at all except for 10:30 am slave driver aerobics, and even that was optional. We talked until our eyelids absolutely couldn't stay open any longer. Ah, sisters.
Mom's birthday came a few days later. She and Dad and brother Ben came down the evening before, so we could give Mom her first birthday present; dinner and "Treasure Island" at Beef and Boards. The next day was Sunday. Taylor cooked our breakfast, amazingly single-handedly. He's six. He made scrambled eggs with bell peppers, and limeade. I think he let Grandma slice some oranges and make toast. Oh, and he set the table. All while his mother was sleeping. I think his father's childhood nickname was "Jared-boy-yolky-egg," because he displayed similar talents, although his taste in egg style differed slightly. I bet Grandma was having flashbacks. Later that day, we had birthday ice cream cake, better that ANY you could get at ANY store, truely. YUM! We had it in Marie's back yard, in the sunshine, around Noon, and we LIKED it! Imaging that. I nearly froze the whole time I was in Indiana, and everyone just looked at me like I was crazy, but it was 105, I think, here today, and noone in their right mind would sit outside, in full sun, mid day, and try to eat icecream with anything other than a straw. I would brag that in Indiana we used FORKS, but I don't think we did... but we COULD HAVE. Anyway, back to Mom's day. We looked at pictures, had blogging lessons, opened presents, (a couple of travel books on Peru and Machu Pichu for their trip this Fall, and a couple hours of cleaning service to help her get ready for Ben's graduation here in a couple of weeks,) went to church, fried and ate morels that Mom and Dad had frozen and sent especially for us out-of-towners to enjoy this weekend, and walked around the beautiful retention pond. Toxic it may be, but lovely it is, also. My mother. Though it was her birthday, and though it hurts her to do so, she was frying morels, buttering toast, and cleaning up with the rest of us, probably more than the rest of us. She had taken two of Marie's little boys for the bulk of the weekend so that we could enjoy our "Sister's Retreat". She loves us and makes us feel like we are capable of anything, and capable of doing it with a smile, for if she can, surely we can too. It was wonderful to get to spend the day with her. Love you, Mom.
All too soon, Marie had to take me to the airport. On my flight home, I burned through an entire National Geographic, and amused my seat-mates with my head-bobbing as sleep and I did a funny dance. My handsome husband picked my up at the other end in his new, hot Old Navy jeans. (He hasn't worn anything but the Costco brand and cut since he graduated from high-school, so believe me, it IS worth mentioning.) Home again, to children who were excited to see me, but STILL didn't want to come home from Grandma's. (Though Lexi did say, "Mom, Dad's good, but not as good as you.") I jumped right in recreating Marie's ice-cream-cake creation, for today was Samuel's birthday! While it froze, we had Samuel's Choice for dinner. Clam chowder, and pizza. And squash. Mom's choice. Samuel loves it, he just hadn't thought of it yet. And, we opened presents. Samuel had asked for a "Spark Scooter." It's a Razor scooter that shoots sparks out the back when you step on the brakes. Samuel tried it out and called for his dad to come fix it because it was not working! Chad took a turn, and demonstrated the sparking action, which worked just fine. "Oh," said Samuel. "I thought it shot sparks out the back to make you go faster." Cake time! Samuel requested the opportunity to place the candles himself. He wanted to put them all together, so they would make one big flame! That they certainly did. What an idea! We finished the evening with his stay-up night. He and his dad and I ripped the packaging off of the rest of his presents. We played Transformers until his hour was up, and it was midnight Indiana time, and I could play no longer.
That boy keeps me thinking with his ingenious questions. He keeps me smiling with his happy personality, and he keeps me feeling blessed with his sweet nature and loving ways. He defended me from monsters when he was three. He swept up FIVE cockroaches for me today. What a lucky mom I am.