Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Mom's 74th Birthday Party
This weekend we celebrated my Mom’s birthday at my house. We shared a lot of stories, laughs and, of course, a few beers. My mother brought over an old picture of me and my brothers from about 35 years ago when we were kids. That photo stimulated numerous stories about our growing up and a few laughs over the hair styles and clothes we wore back in the 70’s. Many of the stories revolved around how often we tried to kill each other either by accident or on purpose.One of my favorites is when my youngest brother, Pat, and I would pretend to be The Six Million Dollar Man and throw each other across the room. My mom would pick up my dad from the bus stop at 7pm each night and, while she was gone, our wrestling matches would get a little more realistic. One night, it got too physical and we ended up in a fist fight. Being older and bigger, I had a distinct advantage in the fight until it moved to the kitchen where Pat found a knife. He chased me around the dining room table with a crazy look in his eye. I knew I just had to keep running until our parents got home from the bus stop, but sometimes I wonder what would have happened if he ever caught me.
Today, what we don’t talk about, but is felt universally, is how close we are as adults. We all live in the same town less than a mile from each other. Our kids all go to the same school and spend lots of time together. And we find reasons to hang out together. Whether it’s these family parties, hiking on Sunday mornings, watching each other’s kid’s sporting events, or sitting down over a good beer, we find ways to be in each other’s company.
Being a parent of teenagers today, I can understand how hard it must have been for my parents, and my mom particularly being home with us the bulk of the time, to raise us. My brothers and I are living through the trials and tribulations of raising teens right now. Sometimes we talk fondly of that beach house we will retire to where nobody needs to be driven anywhere. But I think we will have considered ourselves successful parents if, when our kids are adults, they spend time together like we do.
So mom, happy birthday and thanks for being such a successful parent. You have earned a relaxing retirement and, hopefully, many more of these parties!