Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I'd Rather Be 59

The year I was turning ten I was determined to have a birthday party. Being number two in a family of six kids, I was not accustomed to having birthday parties. Mom was not particularly excited about spending a lot of money to entertain a lot of kids, only to then have problems getting them to go home (or so went the story...I think this happened ONCE when the girl next door outstayed her welcome, but I suppose, now, more than 40 years later, that point is moot.) Still, I wanted a birthday party and since Mom wasn't going to give me one, I opted to give one for myself.

Of course, Mom had to give permission for me to invite friends, make a cake, decorate the room, make party hats for everyone etc., etc. But she did NOT participate in the planning. That was all ME. I was detailed in my preparation and pleased as punch when my birthday guests started arriving. I remember proudly instructing everyone to don their homemade party hats. I suppose the party was a success, but I remember it more as a lot of work! Still, I got my birthday party and that cured me for ever wanting one again... thanks Mom.

Today, as I worked in my small, but perfectly comfortable home office, I smiled a lot to myself. I am no longer that 10 year old kid wanting a party. I am perfectly thrilled that my children and their families chose to celebrate my birthday two days early, joining me for church and then lunch afterward. No planning on my part, and I got the best gift any parent of grown children could ask for... the gift of their time and company.

And tonight, when Joe and I made our way in, after dark and after squeezing as much farm work as we possibly could into the day, I discovered I had missed a call from Jenn. I listened to the voicemail she, Ben and the lovely Miss Eloise and her insanely adorable brother Luca left for me. Eloise led the singing of the tradition Happy Birthday and the others sang along... and when they had finished, they each wished me as. "Happy Birthday Gakki." Well, Luca's was more like, "Hay Biday Gakki, Hay Buday Gakki."

A more perfect birthday, I cannot imagine. 59 beats 10 any day of the week... another year closer to retirement.

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