Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Much better

So I read back over yesterday's post and laughed and laughed. I was feeling a bit whiney...did you notice that? But in the light of a new day, it's really quite funny when Murphy kicks your butt on the day after your birthday. Speaking of my birthday...it was lovely. Thank you for the well wishes.

The birthday recap:

Saturday night we took baby stuff to my brother's house and then went out to dinner at Red Robin (love the birthday coupon for a free burger!).

Sunday morning I got to sleep late and then went to lunch with my mom at Panera...then shopping at JoAnn's and the Baby Depot at Burlington Coat Factory (my brother's little girl is going to be SO spoiled).

When we got back to my parent's house, I dug up some old photos from their collections (school, attorney swearing in, baby shower...some big moments that I seemed to lack photos of myself). Things I noticed: (1)I have never had any fashion sense; (2)The lack of fashion sense extends to my choices in eyeglasses; (3)I have worn almost every hairstyle under the sun at one time or another...and not very many of them looked good on me; (3)I'm a dork and always feel the need to make weird faces/gestures when my photo is being taken; (4)Growing up, my sister and brother were just as geeky as I was (sorry Becks...it's true).

At my parent's house, I also got to sort through a box of momentos from my paternal grandmother's house. She has Alzheimer's and lives in a nursing home now, so her house was cleaned out and sold.

As long as I can remember, she had this mug collection. She would buy mugs whenever she travelled (where the heck IS Wall Drug?) or whenever there was a big event (I remember the Prince Charles/Lady Diana set). She was also given mugs as gifts...from her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She proudly displayed them all in a huge glass-front cabinet that rattled if you walked past it with too heavy feet.

What I didn't know until Sunday is that Grandma kept little bits of paper in each and every mug to remind her when, where, or who they came from. There was the Purde University mini mug, bought as a souvenir when my father graduated college. There was the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame mug given as a gift from a young couple in love who never imagined where life would take them. And there was the Santa mug.

In fifth grade I spent my Santa Shoppe money to buy Grandma that Santa mug. Nothing special. In fact, it's kind of ugly and there are a zillion reasons she probably didn't want or need that Santa mug...but she carefully tore the gift tag off the package, slipped it into the Santa mug, and proudly displayed it in her mug collection. "To: Grandma Henry From: Cathy B______" in my red gradeschool hand printing. She kept that ugly mug and that little scrap of paper all these years. And I didn't know...until Sunday...on my 37th birthday.

Also in the box was a handmade teddy bear for Myles...the second to last teddy bear Grandma made to ever be given to a great grandchild (the last will be for my brother's baby girl when she is born in April)...and an afghan she made that still smells like it should be hanging on the back of her living room sofa.

It felt like I was getting my very last birthday presents from Grandma...and so I cried.

But then I got to go home and share my treasures with my boys...and eat steak and the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and funfetti they had made together (for me)
...and snuggle on the sofa under Grandma's afghan to watch television together...and put them to bed and kiss them goodnight...and check my email to find birthday wishes from friends around the world (thank you so much, Holley, for thinking of Alex and Travis)...and have a glass of wine and crochet my own afghan for a friend...

...and I smiled.


Pipsylou said...

OK, so I'm a little damn weepy anyway, but the pic brought tears to my eyes.

(And I LOVE that you mentioned the Red Robin coupon. Girl, you and I together, some coupons, some drinks, in a restaurant would equal hell on wheels. How far are you from Cincy?)

Hennifer said...

Wow! What a special day for you!
Thank you for sharing such a lovely family story!

Love the family photo, Myles is SO big! and all that hair. My almost 3yr old would be envious