Yesterday my first daughter called and said, “This coming Wednesday we’ll pick you up and we’ll have breakfast. Remember, it is you Happy Birthday on Wednesday!” And I said, “But we celebrated my birthday last Saturday. I like it that way. You surprised me. And the food you all brought was delicious. In fact we still have some of the fruits we didn’t finish, the pastries, and some dishes. You brought a lot.”
And my daughter continued. She and our closest friends planned it that way so we won’t have to bother about cleaning our place, arranging the furniture and cooking some food. And it is all true – preparing the setting for a party is a great task most especially by 70+. Ooops. But believe it or not – you reach a point when you have have saved enough for the special food you want to prepare yourself and enjoy with your friends at your party but you may not have the energy and strength to arrange your place and do it best for everyone to feel good and enjoy at your party.
So when here they were last Saturday; everyone in my family – my children with their husbands and their own children, our closest friends – our family by choice; them all wishing me “Happiest Birthday” the weekend before my actual birthday – with all the unswept leaves and fallen avocados and persimmons in the backyard with some cobwebs in the ceiling and the unwiped chairs and tables in the deck where we have our get-togethers. When they came – our family and our friends – we reset the two rocking chairs and two corner tables, the half dozen plastic white chairs and the foldable wooden tables that are permanent in the deck, and added some more chairs from the garage and turned on the old “onkyo” for music.
And lo and behold – there we all were talking, laughing, eating – enjoying my sweetest and most memorable 70+ Birthday Party. Ever.
The last of them left a little after eight and the party started by two in the afternoon.
The next morning, my husband and I kept saying to each other, “Very nice, nice party” as we tidied the kitchen and placed the chairs and tables back where they belonged in the deck and the garage; and swept the backyard of the leaves and the fallen fruits. And as we pleasantly and contentedly placed “all” in their right places, this little refrain kept humming somewhere in my mind, “But we missed the chance to get our place cleaned up and fixed up and spruced up whenever we have a party.”
A surprise party! A surprise party!