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Sunday, December 18, 2005

December being birthday month in our family, we gathered at Suzanne and John’s house this evening, officially to honor Mom, who turns 79 tomorrow. Suzanne’s birthday was Friday, and there are others in the family, some long gone and some far distant. It’s always been a challenge to make sure everyone gets their due, but today was Mom’s day, period.

I can’t even tell you how much fun it is to sit around eating Mom’s favorite meal (homemade tacos) and talking family stuff. Suzanne and Eric and Mom and I sat for hours after dinner, drinking coffee and laughing. John would chime in with a gem of his own every so often, as we always know he will.

Tammy and David brought Aiden and Kylie by for a visit before dinner. There was never any question that they would stay very long, because the two little ones never stay long in one place (and the two parents are always worn out and ready to try to get some sleep whenever they can, which isn’t often).

There was football on the television, so Kylie was happy. She’ll sit with David all Sunday afternoon and watch the games with him, wide-eyed with wonder (at how many times the quarterback throws the ball up for grabs, or how often receivers drop wide-open passes). She’s a keen critic of the game. At least, that’s how I read the serene expression on her face when she’s watching. (And don’t get between her and the game. She’ll be happy to have you coo at her during the commercials, which interest her not at all.)

Kylie, in case you’ve forgotten, is not quite three and a half months old.

And Aiden was happy, too. He’s very comfortable in his grandma’s house, and he knows all the rules (because he made up a lot of them). When he wants up, you’d better know what that means and respond. When he brings Grandma the Baby Beluga book and says, “Baby Beluga,” she’s ready to sing. When he wants the train to run around the bottom of the Christmas tree, the excuse that he just knocked it off the track with his big old feet doesn’t hold up very well.

18 December 2005


And when there are presents to be opened, he’s right there to help.

18 December 2005

Aiden is very interested in the present opening.

Did I say this day was all about Mom, and then go on and on about the babies? Yeah, well, she wouldn’t mind. She was pretty much satisfied when Aiden came in and the first thing he said was, “Happy birthday, Grandma Great.” Of course, a little later he said, “Happy birthday, Santa Claus,” so there might be some question as to his sincerity. But he loves to give hugs and kisses, and he’s very good about saying please and thank you, often without prompting. So you can’t question his good nature or his good heart.

18 December 2005

Tammy and Mom and Mom's basket.

There was one collective present from the family to Mom this year, in honor of the fact that whenever she sees something she likes, whether it’s for herself or someone else, she buys it and puts it away. The result is sometimes a bit of a random sampling of items of various degrees of usefulness. So all of us spent the last month or so gathering random items for her basket, and she spent half of the evening opening the 30 or so surprises, ranging from chocolate band-aids to a pink flamingo coffee mug (which Aiden immediately appropriated and carried around, saying, “Cup, cup” and pretending to drink from it).

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It was a good day for the Miami Dolphins. Not only did they survive a very bad pass interference call that gave the Jets new life late in the game (to go on to win, 24-20), but the Colts, who started the season with thirteen straight wins, finally lost, 26-17 to the Chargers. And why do the Dolphins care about the Colts? The Dolphins are the only team ever to go through a season undefeated, going 17-0 in 1972, and that record is one of the most jealously regarded marks in all sports. Every year some team will rattle off a few wins, and old Dolphins (and old Dolphin fans) will bite their nails and clench their teeth, until the inevitable loss keeps their record from being broken. (That doesn’t mean the Colts aren’t the best team this year, though.)

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