Friday, January 22, 2010

Birthday Friday

My Dad is 85 today. I know, really. If you know him, you can't believe he's 85. Even writing that number seems crazy to me, because, well, if you know him, you really can't reconcile that age with my father.

Almost everyone was here. Four out of us five kids and our spouses, seven out of nine grandchildren, and one out of two great-grandchildren. And my Mom, of course. My brother Stephen and his wife Jen drove all the way from New York just for the weekend.

We had warm soup and home-baked bread and chocolate cake. It was noisy chaos. We shifted from room to room, picking up conversations here and there, dropping others. Dad lost one of his hearing aids and couldn't hear most of what was happening.

So I wasn't surprised to find him here in the quiet kitchen with Randy while everyone else gathered in the dining room and living room. Randy had just found out from a conversation between my Dad and my brother John that, while my Dad was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, he studied under a professor who is now considered a giant in the field of genetics. Randy was totally awestruck. (In case you don't know this, my father and my husband are both botanists. Yep, married a man like my father, and glad of it.)

Justus, the first great-grandchild, helped his Great-Opa open his gifts. Tomorrow, the menfolk have big plans. They like to build stuff, and it looks like they are going to spend the day turning Mom and Dad's patio into a screened-in porch.

I'm looking forward to quiet summer nights on their screened-in porch, watching children chasing fireflies. That's what it's really all about.


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