It's been a rather low-key birthday for Mr. Moon. By the time I got up he'd already gone to the gym and didn't get home until hours later as he had errands to run in town. That gave me time to make the frosting for the cake.
By the time he got home Lily and Lauren and the kids had already left their house for the Hilltop where we had decided to meet and get lunch so we hurried into our bathing costumes (I love to use that phrase) and and gather towels and the cake and got in the car to drive down the road for lunch. They weren't too far ahead of us in ordering so we were all able to eat together and thankfully, the flies weren't swarming the picnic tables outside but it was blue-blazes hot and if there's a garment that's hotter and more uncomfortable to wear in the heat than a lycra swimsuit, I don't know what it is. I had a cotton gauze dress over it but I was still dying. Or at least I felt as if I was.
After lunch we all headed to the river and when we got there, the sky was already growing dark and ominous the way it so often is on summer afternoons. Mr. Moon and I arrived first and knowing that our time might be cut short we both dove in immediately and as I said when I surfaced, "Every time we do this it's a life-changer."
And it is.
The relief is just so incredibly instantaneous.
Then the Hartmanns showed up (Lauren had to go to work) and it wasn't fifteen minutes before lightening started flashing and thunder started rumbling to the southwest. We debated whether to just leave or wait awhile to see what was going to happen, the radar was consulted and still no consensus was formed although Magnolia June was convinced that not only should we stay but that she should be allowed to play in the water (we had called them out when the lightening started) and that other kids were still playing in the water and it wasn't fair!
I wonder how children all seem to be born with this innate sense that life should be fair. I mean- even by the age of two, it should be apparent to a child that life is frequently NOT fair at all and by the age of six one would think that we would all accept that fact as plainly as we accept the fact that french fries with ketchup are delicious.
But no. We do not. And Maggie REALLY does not.
(Her mother didn't either at her age but I think she's aware of the fact now.)
We decided to go ahead and eat cake, however, and we all sang happy birthday to Boppy, and Owen and Maggie didn't want cake because of the coconut in it but Gibson, Lily, Glen, and I surely did enjoy it. German chocolate cake is just a damn fine cake.
About this time a little girl, perhaps three or four, ran smack dab into a wooden sign post while playing and she hit that thing so hard with her sweet little noggin that the metal sign attached to it shivered and rang, and everyone at the river stopped what they were doing and we all waited in silence to see what would happen. She let out a huge wail- the sort of wail every parent knows means "this is serious" and her daddy grabbed her up and set her down on the floor of the back of the van to see what she'd done to herself and she was crying, "Is it bleeding?" so at least she hadn't knocked herself out. They put ice on her head and her father picked her back up and continued to hold her and try to comfort her and I know that everyone at the river wanted to do something to help but what could we do? There was another family with them, and everything was being taken care of but it felt so unfortunate. When I walked back to the car with our stuff a few minutes later I saw she already had a bruised-looking lump on her head that was as big as half an egg. I am still thinking about her, obviously, wondering if they took her to a doctor. I know that kids' heads are hard but I guess having been a nurse I still think of terms like skull fracture and subdural hematoma.
I think for me, one of the hardest parts of being a parent to young children was not being sure of when it was the right thing to do to take a child in for medical help and when not to. All of us who have children remember this conundrum. You do not want to be the mom (or dad) who takes their precious child in every time they get a snotty nose nor do you want to be the the one who ignores the signs of a possibly threatening bacterial infection.
Does this wound need stitches?
Does this bump need to be checked?
Is this rash newborn normal?
Is this a virus which will pass or an infection that needs antibiotics?
Does inhaling Mexican baby powder constitute a possible medical emergency? (Asking for a friend.)
Back in the olden days, we had no internet to check things out before making that decision but we did have Dr. Spock and I don't know what I would have done without him. I remember diagnosing one of my children with an inguinal hernia and taking her to the doctor. I told him what I suspected (based on what dear Dr. Spock had told me) and he was impressed with my diagnostic skills.
Anyway, what in hell was I talking about?
Oh yeah. My husband and his birthday.
I wonder how many words I've written here over the years talking about what a good man my husband is and how grateful and fortunate I am that I caught his eye that night back in 1983.
In a bar.
Wearing my friend Sue's sweater.
When I got up this morning I found a note from him in front of the coffee pot. It thanked me for loving and nurturing him the way I do and gave me the credit for him living to the age of 68.
It's funny how we love and how we express love changes as we age. And it may be even funnier how those things don't change in some ways.
In the river today we hugged and kissed each other and I thought about how some of the younger people there probably thought either, "Ugh. Really?" or "Oh, isn't that cute?"
You know what?
I love his hugs and his kisses as much or even more than I did when we were both twenty-nine. Each one of them is precious.
He is precious.
Here's a picture of him and Ms. "It-Isn't-Fair" Magnolia June three years ago.
Happy birthday, my love.
37paddington: happy birthday to your love! What a precious picture with Magnolia June. That poor child who bumped her head. I remember when my son did that when he and his cousins were horsing around and how shocked and terrified I was at the speed with which a tennis ball sized bump just raised itself up on his forehead and we were trace that afternoon by plane. A doctor was called who advised ice, ice, ice and to keep him awake on the flight and wake him periodically that night. Or that’s how I remember it all these years later. I was so scared. Better to be the anxious mother, I say, and call the doctor. My son was fine thank god. But I would still be thinking about that little girl too.ReplyDelete
Yes. I always erred on the side of caution but generally managed to feel quite foolish at times for taking a child in when really, there was nothing much wrong at all.Delete
Great birthday! Nice that Mr moon returns the appreciation, too.ReplyDelete
He is so good at that. He truly does let me know how much he appreciates me.Delete
Happy birthday to Mr. Moon. I would eat a big old piece of that cake with coconut. That's why it's called German chocolate: chocolate, coconut, and hopefully some pecans.ReplyDelete
Oh you can bet the ranch there were plenty of pecans. My favorite cooking nut.Delete
Your love for Mr. Moon (and his for you) is so very tender and real it makes me smile all over. In fact, I can't help but think of this Bobby Vinton tender classic...ReplyDelete
HAPPINESS to you two lovebirds. :)
Haha! Bobby Vinton! I haven't thought of him or that song in ages. How sweet. Thanks for the memories.Delete
37P: And what a sweet note your love left for you on his birthday. ❤️ReplyDelete
He is an excellent note leaver.Delete
It sounds like a wonderful day. Happy birthday to a prince among men.ReplyDelete
I am pretty sure he considers himself a king among men. In the sweetest way possible.Delete
I'm way past the age of six and I still whine about life not being fair sometimes.ReplyDelete
Happy Birthday Mr Moon!
That cake has coconut in it? I'd like the recipe please.
I just use the recipe on the Baker's German chocolate baking bar. And double the chocolate.Delete
With kids and injuries it's a mixed bag isn't it. My mom used to put her hand on our foreheads (7 kids) and say "nah, you're all right" and that was it (luckily we were). And while the internet is wonderful I had a colleague absolutely convince herself she had mad cow disease too (she didn't)! I do hope that little girl was ok though - and happy birthday Mr. Moon!ReplyDelete
Oh, Dr. Google can lead us down a long and scary path, can't he? Yes, any mom with seven kids does not have the luxury of overworrying about the children.Delete
I hope that the child with the bumped head was OK. My eldest, aged 6, ( now 44 ! ) spent a night in hospital with concussion after a knock on the head!ReplyDelete
That run-in could have easily led to a concussion.Delete
Happy birthday Mr Moon! I wish you many more happy and precious years together xxxxxReplyDelete
What a nice birthday for Mr. Moon! Too bad about the storm but you were able to work around it so that's good.ReplyDelete
My Dr. Spock book was so worn and the pages were loose by the time my 5 kids were grown! I always went to him first about medical issues!
Hope the little girl was all right.
I've still given both of my daughter/mothers Dr. Spock's. He's still got good advice to give, I think.Delete
I still have some embedded notion that life should be fair. I have trouble letting go of that. Hopefully I use it to worthwhile ends (trying to make life more fair for most people)!ReplyDelete
Happy birthday to Mr. Moon. I don't understand refusing German chocolate cake just because of coconut, but what the heck.
I'm pretty sure that we all continue to believe that life should be fair and I like your point about how that can lead to actively trying to make things more fair for others.Delete
Maggie claimed she'd had a coconut drink once and hated it, therefore- no coconut. Not sure about Owen. I think he's trying to eat healthier.
Weird! I know I posted a comment but it has disappeared.ReplyDelete
I mentioned my love for Dr. Spock when I was raising my 5 kids! I always looked to my worn copy of his book first! Glad Mr. Moon had a nice birthday!
Dr. Spock told us the truth in a very calming manner.Delete
Oh, I just realized it had me down as anonymous. First time that has happened to me.ReplyDelete
As Rosanne Rosanadana would say, "Never mind!"
Never mind! I loved Rosanne Rosanadana.Delete
Sounds like a lovely day.ReplyDelete
It's not fair, adults say and think that too, including me sometimes.
Katie has permanent scars on her forehead from banging her head on the floor and on walls. Six years she ended up in ER this time of year because she was banging her head so hard. The doc there told me something that has made me feel so much better, the front of the head has the thickest bone and the brain is well protected when the forehead hits things.
Have a lovely day and stay cool.
I wish I'd heard that about the front of the head when I was a younger mother. It is comforting because all of our kids have knocked their foreheads at some point. You must have been so scared when Katie did that.Delete
It's not fair that you had to go through that!
A belated many happy returns of the day to Mr. Moon!ReplyDelete