April 14, 2010 | My Jottings
My youngest daughter Sara turned twenty-eight the day before yesterday. How can that be? I remember well the night I labored to give birth to her. I was twenty-three years old and Michael and I decided to have her at home, with a midwife. We had to turn the furnace up to 95 degrees so the house would be warm enough for her when she made her appearance, since we didn’t have any spare isolette incubators sitting around. It was a wonderful experience (aside from the intense pain and travail, but that would have happened in the hospital anyway since I was determined to have her without any medication).
To celebrate her birthday, this year Sara chose to have just the four women in our family go out for dinner at a restaurant with some of the most unique and delicious food around: The Scenic Cafe on the north shore of Lake Superior. We usually celebrate birthdays with anyone and everyone in the family who can attend, including children, so having a quiet foursome was new and nice.
Here’s a photo of my lovely Sara holding up a couple of birthday gifts drawn by her nephew and my grandson Elijah David. The one on the left is of a skeleton and the one on the right he labeled “musle,” from some anatomical drawings of bones and muscles Elijah studied recently. They seemed to have made an impression on him. 🙂
Carolyn and Sharon gave Sara a pretty salmon/coral colored top with some neat jewelry to go with it. The card they chose for her was so funny we couldn’t stop quoting it all night and have continued through today. Maybe it will even become a tradition between the four of us. It was one of those goofy cards with the black and white Victorian photographs of stoic, unhappy-looking, corseted women with word bubbles above their heads saying ridiculous things that probably no Victorian woman would have thought, much less spoken.
One of the somber-looking women on the card said to the other, “You’re intelligent, talented…and a fabulous shopper. Your turn.”
The next woman said, “You’re sensitive, a good listener…and you dress well. Your turn.”
Then the first one answered, “You have a beautiful body, a positive attitude, and a great personality. Your turn.”
And the last one was, “You have lovely skin, you’re generous…and nice to be with. Your turn.”
Inside the card the verse read, “We turn to each other for a lift, a laugh and to remind us how really great we are.” And how true that is.
Except our comments to each other were slightly different than the ones on the card. One of my daughters said to me, “You need a new shirt. Your turn.” And we cracked up. I said to Sharon, “I prefer your hair blonde. Your turn.” And we laughed hard again. Maybe you had to be there, but I’m telling you, we cracked ourselves up.
Below, here is my lovely Carolyn, smiling at her son’s artwork gifts for Sara. Isn’t her necklace fabulous?
Below is my lovely Sharon and me. I am blessed to be the mama of this remarkable trio of young women. I grew them all, as Sharon says about her own children. Now that Sharon and her family have moved to American Siberia the four of us can be together more often. We can go to dinner on dark rainy nights and have four different desserts so we can share and each moan over what the other ones ordered. On Sara’s birthday night this tactic enabled us all to have a little bit of chocolate espresso cake, a couple of bites of creme brulee, a teeny bit of blackberry cream cheese tart, and small portions of flourless chocolate cake with fairy floss.
Each of us could use “a lift and a laugh,” these days, as Sara’s birthday card suggested, and I won’t speak for Sharon, Carolyn or Sara, but that’s exactly what I got by being with my daughters.
These young women are my treasures. They are my beloveds.