For 45 years my sainted mother in-law has heard the story o fmy husband’s pitiful three-year old birthday.
My children and, someday, their children will recount the tale of a cold February day in 1967 when our young birthday boy took a pre-party afternoon nap and woke to find that his siblings had eaten his entire cake.
I’m not sure what the statute of limitations is on gobbled up goodies, but poor Grandma Mary Jane has spent nearly half a century making amends.
Over the years she has tried all kinds of cakes — ice cream, chocolate, homemade, store bought and, a couple of years, two different kinds. One year, when she chaired the neighborhood Girl Scout Cookie drive, she let him eat his weight in Do-Si-Dos.
Still, the story haunted her.
Since then, she has faithfully celebrated the birthdays of every single member of the family, which is no small task given that Grandma Mary Jane’s immediate family now numbers 29, with a 30th ready to join in April.
Along with a card, she sends a generous check in an amount that honors the recipient’s age.
I have long admired my mother in-law, who raised nine children with good sense, good humor and a whole lot of love.
Yesterday, my appreciation for her grew.
Along with a check in honor of his 48th birthday, my husband received a card with a special note from his mother.
“If you didn’t have a three-year old birthday, then this is your 47th birthday,” she wrote. “So you owe me a dollar.”
|That’s my husband Vince in the lower left corner. He was
the seventh child his parents had during their first eight years
of marriage. They look like a nice enough bunch, but they ate his cake.
|Here he is at five-years old, rocking the striped T.
These are his last days as the youngest child. Later this year,
his sister Nancy was born, ending his reign. Three
years after Nancy, Jimmy came along. They really
are a great family.
|We celebrated Grandma Mary Jane’s 80th birthday this year and
she still looks fantastic. The birthday boy doesn’t look so bad either.