when words fail me, which is often, I paint. When words work for me and are available on time, I am surprised.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Birthday Calls

It's my 44th birthday, Tate and me are driving seven hours to Pennsylvania for his family reunion. Usually our road trips begin before the crack of dawn but not this one. Tate had a quick business meeting early and we were in the neighborhood of the baby whose birth I recently attended so we stopped in to (wake them up) say hello, and. After a few hours on the road Tate's phone rings. “Don't answer if you don't know who it is” he orders. I look.
Ring- ring- Oh, its Wiley I realize out loud.
Hey Mongo- happy birthday he says, I bet I am the first to call.
Right you are , you always were my favorite son I assure him.
I know , I am sure Avi will call, he's probably still asleep.
I agree with him and we chat a bit and love you too. . . bye.
Further up the road nearly an hour passes and now my phone is ringing. Hi Avi.
Happy birthday he sing songs in a falsetto voice. I'm the first to call aren't I ?
Actually no,your brother already called me.
What? Wiley? Uggh, mom I thought of it first I just woke up and besides I took the day off from work in commemoration of your birthday.
Wow, really? You must love me more. You always were my favorite son.
I know.

At least they remembered the day, after all they are males. Speaking of males and birthdays and remembering dates and other oxymorons of the sort, I realized T had no idea today is my birthday somewhere into our first few hours of our day. I told myself I was not going to enlighten him. I would wait until his baby sister mentions my birthday (she-always remembers) in front of him later tonight when we get to the reunion. Its kind of like keeping a secret which although I can , it is hard for me. Really hard.
I make this inner promise to myself as he is putting gas in the truck and I am sitting in the cab waiting. Boredom strikes and a bit of early morning carsickness I decide to take a quick look inside the store for something to eat or drink.
We are back on our way out of town and only 30 minutes from my secret when I catch a glimpse of some odd object in the console drink holders.
Hey, I say- where'd he come from?
A solitary kneeling plastic green army man, one hand on his telephone which is attached to the field pack on his back and the other hand is missing. His handless arm is outstretched in front of him as he makes a call on his field phone.
I hold him up, coveting.
You can't have it, Tate shouts, it's for your happy birthday. I found it while I was working on so and sos farm last week.
-Today IS MY Happy Birthday! I blurt out.
It is?
OK, I guess you can have him then.
Thank you, he's my favorite. You notice he is on the phone?
Did you notice he lost his hand in the battle?
Yes, that too.
Know what he's saying?
Tell me.
He says- “Hey Mac, I need a hand here, Now!”
Yeah, we're funny I know. I am noticing a theme here that some of you may not have even considered, it's the green birthday present theme. Last year you see T gave me a 13 pound cabbage for my birthday. It's what I wanted, a cabbage anyway, and yes, I reminded him my birthday was coming up for a week in order to help him be prepared. I guess that proves it, some men do not have trouble remembering birthdays and special dates after all. I sure am blessed.

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