Monday, June 09, 2014

Monday Memories: When Is My Birthday??

The summer I turned five my mother went to register me for kindergarten.  I am sure she did it with a sigh of relief; I am the youngest of five and I imagine there was a sense of impending freedom.  As I understand it, the conversation with the nice teacher at the registration desk went something like this:

Nice Teacher: Good morning Mrs. Reed, I see you are ready to bring us your last one.  What is her date of birth?

Mother: Good morning.  Her birthday is June the sixth.

Nice Teacher: Thank you.  Now, let's get this paperwork filled out.  Did you bring a copy of her birth certificate for us?

Mother:  Yes, here it is.

Nice Teacher: Very good.  Thank you. 

Nice Teacher:  Uhm.  Mrs. Reed, when did you say her birthday is?

Mother:  June the sixth.

Nice Teacher:  You mean June the eighth.

Mother:  No, it is June the sixth.

Nice Teacher:  No, it is June the eighth.

Mother: I think I know when my children's birthdays are; it is June the sixth.

Nice Teacher: Mrs. Reed, according to this birth certificate, it seems to be June the eighth.

Mother: Red-faced silence.

Over the years we have celebrated it sometimes on the sixth, sometimes on the eighth, and once on the tenth (or was that the twelfth?).

Then there was the dreadful eighteenth birthday.  No one said anything, so I assumed that everyone was planning a big surprise party for me.  My boyfriend at the time (not Mr. Marvelous) (Thank you, Lord, for delivering me from that one!) (and all my family just said a loud, hearty, "AMEN").  Where were we?  Oh yes, my boyfriend at the time was traveling, but he sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  Mother and one of my sisters came home from shopping and we had this conversation:

Mother: Oh, what beautiful flowers!

Me (smiling): yes, they are, aren't they?!

Mother (looking through them and smelling them): Is there a card?  Who sent me these??

Me (not smiling): My boyfriend sent them.

Mother (confused): He sent me flowers??

Me (not smiling at all): No, he sent me flowers.

Mother (really confused): Oh, well, why did he send you flowers??

Me (REALLY not smiling): Maybe because it is my birthday and I turned eighteen today?!

Mother: red-faced silence

I don't think that really qualified as a slammed door to my bedroom, I think I just closed it a little harder than usual.

She did hurry to the store at that point to get a watermelon (that's another story).

Ah, birthdays!

It's a family joke now, and I don't worry about offending Mother by telling this story because Mother and computers....well, let's just leave it at I don't worry.

But whenever it may happen to be (and I think it was the eighth), thanks Mom!  Thanks for putting up with carrying me for nine long months when you had four other monkeys to deal with.  Thanks for the long nights during those early years.  Thanks for putting up with me when the hormones hit (and boy did they ever!).  Thanks for the years of patience, the kindness, the love, and the heritage of faith.  Thanks for persevering in teaching me the Word of God, teaching me to pray, teaching me my catechism (painful process though it was!).  Thanks for teaching me to be a lady, a wife and a mother.  Thanks for all of it.  Whether you remember my birthday on the actual day or not, you are the world's greatest Mom!

Yeah, that's me at five. 

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