Saturday, August 12, 2006

A very merry Unbirthday to us! To us!

As I have mentioned in these virtual pages before, Husband and I have a coupla soccer teams' worth of nieces and nephews whom we absolutely love and adore and the ground upon which whom walk we worship.

Problem is, almost all of them live out-of-province. And birthdays - theirs, and ours - tend to pop up on Aunts' and Uncles' and Moms' and Dads' palm pilots and calendars so fast, that by the time you realize it's someone's birthday, it's already too late to buy, wrap, postal-wrap, and mail a present in time for it to be relevant. Plus which, I've always been concerned about catching sibling 1's birthday, missing sibling 2's birthday, then catching sibling 3's birthday.

I mean, the lawsuits for reimbursing therapy costs alone would destroy our meagre retirement savings.

The solution for us, for the out-of-province niephlings and nephlews, has been to do a one-day birthday-fest during the summer, when all the nieces and nephews are in-province on vacation. ("Your Aunt and Uncle love you very much," we explain. "They're not very well-organized. But they love you very much.") The idea has caught on so well that now they also give us their birthday presents for us on "Unbirthday" and out-of-province kids give in-province kids their birthday gifts on "Unbirthday" as well.

And, of course, everyone still gets their special day on their real birthday, with their local family and friends. Unbirthday is... sheer gravy, really.

It's also nice that Husband/Uncle's and my Mother-in-Law-slash-Family-Matriarch's realbirthdays both fall in August, so there's a realbirthday around Unbirthday every year as well.

Today was Unbirthday. We drove out to the lake this afternoon and took out the paddle boat, and the kids took out the wind surfer, and "the boys" (Husband and his brothers) and the kids drove RC boats around the lake and later we had potato salad and grilled burgers and hot dogs, and string beans and cucumber and my Sister-in-law's Patented-Broccoli-and-Something Salad, and birthday cake ("happy BIRTHday, dear EVERYONE, happy BIRTHday tooooo yoooooooo...", we sang, before EVERYONE blew out the candles) and ice cream. And got and gave presents. And, best of all, the middle-niece and our Goddaughter, the child I told you about earlier, gave us - as she always did - things she made with her own hands, and things she'd chosen, carefully, based on her brief lifetime of caring about us. She gives Husband things she's made herself, about airplanes and ships. She gives me things she's made herself, about elephants (it's a long story) and fashion. They all give us photos of themselves. Then we all troop outside and play with the presents. Stuff like this. (HOLY LIFTIN', did this sucker ever fly, whether it was the five-year-old or a 43-year-old stompin' on it.)

Those kids - so grown-up now! Before my eyes they went from being anticipated bumps in their moms' bellies, to being infants, to toddlers, to kids, to tweens. And they're on the cusp of teenhood. And still good, good, smart, funny, creative kids. Who, incredibly, still find their old Auntie and Uncle worthy of spending time with.

Lucky? You bet.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home