As soon as I was old enough to understand what a family was, I knew that I was grateful for mine.
I recognized pretty early on that not every father would sneak his kid out of summer camp for a pep talk and an ice cream cone, and not every mother would drive over to the warehouse her daughter was painting on a blistering summer day, roll down the window and say, “It’s too hot to work right now. Get in here. I’m taking you swimming.”
Mine did that kind of stuff all the time.
Then, just because I fell in love with a goofy Croatian, I inherited the Outlaw Mary Jane, her compulsively generous husband Vince and a whole bunch of broccoli-loving wits whose only flaw remains their frustrating command of the Scrabble board.
This weekend my oldest daughter surprised me by traveling from LA to Appleton to help me celebrate my birthday. My youngest daughter Molly spent most of Saturday baking me an astonishing cherry cocoa chiffon cake with chocolate ganache and Swiss butter cream. My oldest son sent me my favorite Graeter’s Ice Cream, and my younger son edited a video for me that I intend to watch every day of my life.
On top of everything else my family does for me — and these are very busy people — every few years they dance just for me.
I had a wonderful weekend celebrating my birthday and Easter with members of my family and I hope you all had an excellent holiday as well.
I’m kicking off the week, and my next year, with a big ole smile because I can’t stop the feeling…of gratitude.
Thanks to every single member of my big, crazy, coast-to-coast family. Here’s to sunshine in your pockets and good souls on your feet.