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Birthday girl and her brother celebrating the Big 2

Birthday girl and her brother celebrating the Big 2

It was a dark and stormy night. Not really—instead it was the end of a hot and sweltering day when I came into the world just before sunset in Kearney, Nebraska. I just barely made it into June.

And most years my birthday feels nothing like the rest of June. Baby, it’s pretty much always hot when my “queen for a day” day comes along.

The story goes that “back in the day” hospitals did not have air conditioning in most rooms. The small town hospital maternity ward where my mother gave birth to me had only one room with a window air conditioner, which was reserved for women recovering from cesarean sections. On that particular June 30th, five women ended up in that room, although only one woman had her baby by C-section. That day’s hot, hot, hot baby boom led the other four women to agree—very willingly—to stay together in tight quarters.

My mom’s friend, doped up from surgery, kept looking at her and slurring, “What’s she doing here?” Took her awhile to figure out that every woman in that room had her own brand new baby girl and no one was there just to visit her.

Ever since that day many of my birthdays have involved water, thanks to typical June 30 weather. That and/or baseball games—first my brother’s and then my son’s games.

Well, I don’t plan to see any baseball tonight, but I’ve already been to deep water exercise this morning—which was somewhat like my own personal pool party, right? Thank goodness for that because my next planned activity is my weekly 6:00 p.m. track practice. Clouds would be really, really nice—if the Big Guy is listening and would like to offer that as a birthday gift, I—and the other women on the track, I’m sure—would be truly grateful.

Birthday girl watching the goldfish swim

Birthday girl watching the goldfish swim

Don’t have big plans for this day/night, but it’s always good to reach another year of this crazy experience we call life and to still be able to do most of the activities I love. Hot days, cold days, rainy days, fair days—may I never forget how blessed I am to get do them all again. So thankful for the people who have been with me on this journey—those who were with me right from the start—many of whom I miss now—and those whom I have met along the way—and those I have yet to get to know.

The future’s still so bright on this sunny June day—going to keep wearing my shades. And, like my mother before me, will search out a little coolness for relief from the heat, when necessary.

Welcome, New-Year-to-Me. Together, we’re going to put the sizzle in these next twelve months. Ssssssssss . . .

Christiana and Jackson–born on 6 08 1992

“It’s 6:08 and you hear, ‘Knock, knock. Ding, dong.’ The Birthday Monsters are in town!”

(First line from Sandra Boynton’s Birthday Monsters board book, as I remember it from over 19 years ago.)

This is just a quick note before I get back to what I’m really supposed to be doing: my kids turned 20 today! My kids turned 20 today!

I don’t know why but I felt like saying that as if I were Kermit the Frog while running around in crazy circles. Don’t worry, my voice has always been too low to sound like Kermit and my legs have never been that skinny! Still, do you get the picture? Scary, huh?

My son is sleeping still and my daughter hasn’t come back from college yet today, so I haven’t really done anything to celebrate with them—except post birthday pictures of them throughout the ages on Facebook.

Yes, we mothers do embarrassing things like that. It would be so much easier if they had been born during our digital camera days—I can only embarrass them so much when I first have to locate the physical pictures and then scan them. In fact, 1997 is conspicuously absent. You see, their scrapbooks stopped sometime during fall of their kindergarten year. And, although a few great photos made it into their scrapbooks, I can’t find anything else from their 5th birthday celebrations. Despite the fact I have sorted and placed labeled and dated photos into shoeboxes, the box dated from January 1997 until those celebrations is missing.

Oh well, as we learned at their preschool, you get what you get and don’t throw a fit.

This isn’t the deep post where I expound on the meaning of my being a mother for twenty years or even of what it means for my kids to turn twenty.

Nope, this is just my tribute to twenty years of birthdays (well, 19 plus the real “birth” day if you want to get technical.) Dang, they were cute kids, but they have also grown into people with whom I enjoy spending time.

Speaking of time, I’ve got editing work to do, and, as usual, I’m pushing the deadline on making a birthday cake. Thank goodness we’ve figured out how to reinstitute a longstanding tradition: dirt cake. Yes, now that we can make gluten-free dirt cake, I’m back to making a cake that doesn’t require pretty or perfect—and I can separate it into two containers for the twins, I mean for my kids, so, God forbid, they do not have to share a cake!

P.S. They’re not really monsters, but, from time to time, they may have shared certain characteristics with the monsters in Boynton’s book—who cleaned up the mess they made after all.

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