RISING SUN - Last Wednesday, we celebrated Thatcher turning four years old. This Wednesday, we celebrated Chasca turning 32, I almost wrote 33, it’s hard to keep track of the days, weeks, months and even years anymore.
As a January baby, I truly think May is the absolute best time to have been born. It was a wonderful month to have ended my pregnancy too. Not too hot yet, enough sunshine to cure a jaundiced baby, and all the fresh beautiful food and spring flowers, a post-delivery mom could want.
Thatcher had been very excited for his birthday, naturally. Gifts, cakes, parties and all the hubbub and hullabaloo one could want. Early on into this COVID-stuff we started discussing the possibility of his birthday party being canceled. As things continued it became clear that it was no longer a possibility, but a certainty. I started preparing my practical little boy (he’s not a toddler anymore, is he!?) for the fact that he wouldn't get to have a big party with all of the people that love him. We would still have cake, presents, and a special day, but just as family.
Thatcher, so far, in his short life is only hitting 50 percent for his birthdays in terms of parties or disasters canceling said parties. His second birthday party was to occur on May 19, the day his sweet Grandma Abby died. It was actually rescheduled to that day from the week previous when the weather underwent a unseasonably cold snap complete with rain and grey skies. May 19happened to be a perfectly beautiful day, in terms of the weather, but ended up filled with heartache. Fortunately for us, he was none the wiser. We ended up at brunch at a friends the next day, where they presented us with cake and a candle and that was good enough for him.
This year, Thatcher woke up in a better mood than he has been in a while. Like many kids quarantine is getting him down, and he has been a bit grumpier than he normally is. But on his birthday, he woke up simply delighted. He was surprised by his sweet grandparents Mark and Janey, who made a socially distant visit to the house to deliver Sunrise orchard’s frozen cider and much needed attention from other people. Although it was difficult for them to not give him loving birthday squeezes, the opportunity just to be able to talk and visit briefly was a blessing. Later that day, our friend Tina delivered his birthday cake. He saw her coming and hopped out of his dad’s trailer and whispered to me “Why is she coming here? Does she have birthday presents?!”
In a dramatic stage whisper I responded “No, but she has CAKE!” his eyes lit up with glee.
As I was leaving to go to Country Gardens to pick up his requested birthday meal, Shrimp and Pineapple Pizza (surprisingly very good!), his Papa Tom came by to present him with a brand new, full-sized, closed-face fishing pole and two cinnamon rolls the size of his head. When I got back they were in the back yard, sitting six feet apart in their lawn chairs, and had ‘gone fishin’
When Papa had called earlier that day to wish him a happy birthday, bossy, newly four-year-old Thatcher said “You gotta sing to me Papa! Sing me Happy Birthday!” and when he did in his own unique version, he said “No Papa SING IT LIKE THIS!” and busted into song himself.
We shoo’d Papa outta the yard, so we could go inside and gorge ourselves on thin crispy pizza and salad before unveiling the big pile of presents. I collected gifts and cards from friends and family who were thoughtful and kind to remember Thatcher’s big day, despite no big party. He was quite surprised and shocked to see the gifts and then, the cake.
He had requested a rainbow cake with strawberry, kiwi, and blue berries and sprinkles. And our friend Tina, as usual delivered, in the version of the most beautiful apple cake you’ve ever seen. We sang the preferred classic version of happy birthday. And, my uniquely sweet and polite boy made sure to squeak in a “THANK YOU!” before successfully blowing out his colorful bees wax candles.
When I presented him with his big fat slice, he dove right in with his hands and looked at me and said “Imma eat you outta business, mama!” and began to proceed trying to eat his cake. I suggested using his spoon and he told me “Well, mama it’s too big, it won’t fit on my spoon, I have to use my hands, there is no other way MAMA!”And with that, we suddenly have a four year old. Happy Birthday Thatcher!