Mary Beth Writes

This week we Zoom-celebrated (zoom-abrated?) the first birthday of our grandson. This was a very different kind of party in our family which ALWAYS celebrates kid’s birthdays. We always have over a few too many friends and relatives. We always have a mound of presents the kids doesn’t actually need. We always have appetizers and pizza, an activity for kids, and a cake. We always sing Happy Birthday too slowly while the kid stares at the candles.

We clean the house ahead of time, put up some decorations. Or go someplace and let someone else clean, but we still put up the decorations.

My mom did this for me. I did it for my kids. My daughter and her husband have done it for their three-year old three times.  Birthdays are important. Birthdays are a way the community tells the kid they are welcome. (I understand not everyone can pull off this much effort and money; not every kid would feel calm at the center of so many people.)

This hullabaloo-in-quarantine for our family’s newest one-year old happened like this. We joined zoom at the appointed time. Our smiling kid was sitting in his highchair wearing a new bib. A Happy Birthday sign and stars were taped around his chair. His other grandparents plus two uncles and two aunts joined the call. The aunt who made his birthday cake was there.

We all chatted a bit. We talked with the three-year-old who was very impatient to eat the ‘funfetti’ birthday cake covered with sprinkles and little trucks.

Then we all sang Happy Birthday too slowly while our birthday boy stared at his one lit candle, which his mom and big sister blew out for him. The kiddos ate cake while we adults pretended we weren’t craving funfetti, also.

Then the party was over and we left zoom and that was that.

It was a good-humored party. The very large dogs of my son and his wife sat on their laps. The uncle in Colorado talked about things he and his family had done that day. When we were singing the baby kicked his legs really hard in excitement. He recognizes all of us although I do believe this is his first zoom meeting.

Later in the evening some of us texted a little. Without hoopla to pull off, there was time in the day to think about this child who is no longer a newborn, who is growing and learning new things and moving towards his next goals.

The day was simpler, so we went deeper..

 

 

Comments

Love that picture of you! Talk about a baby and that was when we wore dresses to parties! Is that Hawaiian Punch by your KitchenAid? Nice memories - so much fun. Happy Birthday, sweet boy!

Fun memories and fun creative ways to deal with the times! Great picture of you, Mary Beth! You can be in quarantine for a long time. Your hair looks lovely long, and your creativity keeps growing and enhancing our lives!

Friday was the first virtual Zoom date( I guess that's what it was ) between Mr. B and I and it went pretty well and lasted for over three hours during which time we got to see each other in our native habitat's him in his office and me in the upstairs TV room... He got to see me roll my eyes over something he said and to see what I'm up to during short silences, and we now know each other's mannerisms... We'll do one more Zoom date before taking the plunge and having a real life face to face date on June 3rd... We both feel it's about time... Saturday was spent in the backyard pulling weeds and planting the clearance plants and some summer bulbs on doing a couple container's until there was no energy left... Today has been a lazy day and the only thing other than get some sun that I've done was dragging a plant out for the summer and trimming the dead stuff... A long bike ride may happen yet, we'll see...
Leonard's picture

The cake, the stove, the old coffee carafe and your dress! It's funny that we were the generation that was all against fluff and folderol, but look how we miss it when it's taken from our lives. Lovely memories all around.

Happy 1st Birthday, Little Guy! Awesome picture, Mary Beth

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Advent Light Post 12-4-2020

Like likes like.

I received this (above) lovely photo from Susan W of an old-fashioned city lamp seen through trees at night.

It made me recall the pix Karen P sent of her son and daughter-in-law at their wedding a few years ago. They lit and sailed paper lanterns propelled by small candles which (hopefully) flickered out when they flew high enough.

Which of course, reminded me of the paper lanterns at my kids’ wedding.

I don’t walk around noticing spheres and globes, but the image is just unusual enough to bring similar images to mind.

Advent Light Post 12/3/2020

The photo is Karen P's mom, Joan, who has been in quarantine in an assisted living residence since March. Her birthday party was a few months before all this began. Light for hope. Hope for light.

...

Yesterday I wrote “I liked figuring out the best way to position my stance in order to frame whatever it was I wanted to focus on.”

Point of View. 

Advent Light Post 12/2/2020

Len has been taking photos since he was a college newspaper reporter/photographer; (University of Chicago and University of Calgary). He has photos that he took from Willis (it was Sears then) Tower while it was under construction. Len had a journalist pass so he called to see if he could “do a story” and they didn’t ask if he was 20 yet, so he got the gig. When (if) he finds those photos, I will put some here.

As long as I have known him, Len has owned a camera. I think we are now on #3. He brought to our marriage the tripod that he still uses.

Advent Light Post 12/1/2020

(The photo is of headlights making a dotted line on the cemetery fence.) 

...

Oh that morning! Len drove us like crazy across Chicago to the hospital where we would birth our first child.  It was a very clear, very cold December morning, kind of like what’s outside my window right now. 

That same evening I was wheelchaired back out of that hospital. When the lobby doors slid open, the world had become night and the driveway vapor lights lit a blizzard of whirling snow.

It was a completely different world. Yes it was.

Advent Light Post 11/30/2020

Today is Len’s birthday and to celebrate being born on the last day of November in the upper Midwest, he is out on his bike right now. It’s spitting snow, there are 20-30mph winds, and the real-feel temp is 20. He has on both pairs of his bicycling pants. He also has a slice of pumpkin raisin Bundt cake (hmmm, I wonder who baked that) in his bike’s little trunk. 

Happy Birthday to the kind of guy who, when a girl invites him to attend the Sunday school class she teaches - comes to that Sunday school class. A rare man, indeed. 

Advent Light 11/28/2020

Tomorrow, Sunday, is the first Sunday of Advent. 

So first of all, like I said before, I’m preaching. I think you can listen to the whole service starting at 9:30AM, if you go to https://www.uniteduuc.org/ .  There is usually a link there that you have to click, when you click it, it says something about YouTube, so click that link, too. Otherwise, by Monday (maybe earlier, I don’t know who does this or when) it will show up on YouTube at United Unitarian Universalist, Waukesha, and my name.

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