Today is Rachel's birthday and tomorrow is May's last day of work at Midtown Pies and so we all got together for a big celebration dinner at our old favorite, El Patron.
Here are the people who attended: Rachel, Hank, Lily, Lauren, Lindsey, Vergil, Jessie, May, Mr. Moon, Ms. Moon, Owen, Gibson, Magnolia, August, and Levon.
It was so lovely. It had been way too long since we all got together.
We ate on the deck which was a little chilly, but not too bad. I'd had a full day, going to town to get some things at Costco and at Publix, doing laundry, hanging it on the line, finishing up Rachel's birthday cake that I started yesterday. With my one deaf ear I felt a little out of it at the table but that was fine because there was a lot going on and I got to sit next to my May whom I have missed so much. The children played while the adults had drinks and guacamole and there was even a dog who joined in with the children, catching a ball and getting love from Maggie. Owen was tired but he played with the little ones so sweetly. May and I lined up with the boy to see whose hair was longest. We think that Owen is the winner.
This makes me so happy. That boy is his own self and he loves his long hair. I do too.
And August wore one of his dresses. Mr. Moon, who is really not quite sure about boys in dresses told Jessie and me that he guessed he'd be all right with August's choice for the evening. Jessie, who has, since birth, been completely easy about standing up to anyone, told her daddy, "You'll be fine. Things have changed a lot since you were young and even since I was young. People feel a lot freer to dress and be the way they want to."
And he agreed that this was true. And he and August sat together for the whole supper and joked and shared food and that boy could wear anything and his Boppy would love him to pieces.
Vergil and Levon who was wearing a very spiffy red and white checked shirt.
Lily and Lauren. Pretty ladies.
The soon-to-be-wed birthday girl and her man, my Hank.
Rachel has made Hank the happiest I've ever known him. And he's generally been a pretty happy guy. We are so lucky that this beautiful in all ways woman has become a part of our family. She shines with a light so bright that we've loved her from the first time we met her and have come to love her even more as we've gotten to know her. She is good and she is precious in all ways.
The cake. Lemon and almonds and flowers from the yard. Maggie didn't want any because she did not want to eat a flower. When I told her that she did not have to eat a flower, she said, "Okay," and had some.
Levon, watching Uncle Hank light the candles.
The gang of three, posing for me.
When it was time to go, there were at least fifteen minutes of hugging. This is the way of it for our family. We take nothing for granted. We are absolutely aware that each one of us, from the oldest to the youngest is unique and special and to be cherished for those very reasons. We are not afraid to say, "I love you." We are not afraid of differences. We celebrate them knowing that together these differences add up to create a stronger, sweeter, truer, and far more colorful family whose love for each other is not dependent on outside expectations.
We ain't perfect.
But we know that perfection is not what it's all about.
Honey, we ALL color outside the lines in this family.
We are home again and cozy. Getting close to time to go to bed. It's been a good day. I hope you've had one too.
Happy Friday, y'all.