I celebrated my 37th birthday this past Saturday. As with most birthdays and Christmas holidays, I tend to open cards and gifts later on in the afternoon or evening. I don’t know why I do it, it’s just a habit. I had a birthday card from the wife, a card from grandma in NY and a card from my Dad who lives in North Carolina. The cards that came from NY & NC via the mail had been sitting for a few days prior to my birthday. Well, I totally forgot to open my cards on Saturday as we weren’t in the house too much until late evening. Sunday rolls around and we went to church as we do each Sunday. We arrived back home and I threw on some appropriate gear to check out a kickball game out Walker Mill Park. Came back home and decided to lounge for a minute. I still hadn’t opened the birthday cards.
Ma and her husband come by the house later in the afternoon. I gave them a quick tour of the nursery area, offered them some Simply Raspberry Lemonade and we all sat down in the family room. As we’re sitting down on the couch, Ma comes over and hands me a card. At this point my wife reminded me that I hadn’t even opened the ones that had been sitting. So she brought all of them over to me. Since Ma had just given me hers and was sitting right there, I opened that one first. It read as follows…
Son, there are so many things I want for you – so many wishes in my heart as I watch you grow into your own life… I wish you a world of adventure and experience ~ and also the serenity that comes from listening to your inner voice as the world rushes around you…
I wish you the strength to face challenges with confidence – along with the wisdom to choose your battles carefully… I wish you the satisfaction of seeing your goals achieved and also the true contentment that is born of simple things ~ work well done, friends well-loved, moments caught and cherished.
And my greatest wish is that you will always remember how much you are loved – for you are a good and caring person… a man I am proud to have for a son.
I thought it was a pretty nice card. I placed the Panera Bread gift card and cash on the end table next to the couch and read it once again. Once I completed reading, I thanked Ma for the card and them jointly for the gifts enclosed. I then went to the next card in the stack which was from my wife. She gave me a cool card that had a pretty funny message. I’ll leave it at that. 🙂 Next in the stack was the card from Pops. I removed it from the envelope and began to read it…
Son, there are so many things I want for you – so many wishes in my heart as I watch you grow into your own life… I wish you a world of adventure and experience…….
“Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… Awwwwww maaaaaaaaaan!!!” I hollered. All three of them looked over towards me to see why I was laughing hysterically and shaking my head. At this point I held up both birthday cards. The cards given to me from both Mom & Dad were exactly the same.
Now folks, you have to understand that Pop lives in Carolina and has been there since ’84. My Mom has been in the MD-DC area my entire life. Aside from significant events that surround me, I’m pretty sure that they don’t communicate directly. I immediately reflected back to my graduation from Howard when my folks have another one of those “Awwwwwwwww maaaaaaaaaaaaaan are you serious?” moments. Once I received my degree and stepped from the stage, I was greeted by my Dad. He had just flown in from National Airport, was fresh out of the taxi cab and still had his suitcase in hand. He was wearing a red golf shirt and black slacks.
(yes, I went through my graduation video last night & took the still images… lol)
As I maneuvered through the crowd, I saw Ma. She had on a black blouse, red jacket and black pants. When she saw what my Dad had on her jaw dropped. I busted out laughing.
Trust me on this. There’s no way in the world that either one of them would’ve coordinated with the other in a fashion sense. We all still shake our heads til this day on that one.
The whole thing with the birthday cards, took me back to fun memories I had as a kid. Although my parents divorced when I was very young, I still recall moments where they did things similar. As an adult, I look in the mirror at times and remind myself how I am like them in various ways. I guess these funny situations only add to the mystique of the similarities that our parents have and things we acquire from them as life moves forward. It’s great to have ‘shake your head’ moments that you can reflect and laugh about as you get older. Ma says she went through a handful of cards before she picked that one. When I called Dad and told him what happened, he couldn’t believe it. He swears up and down that he spent forever in the CVS until he found the card that was perfect. What can I say? Being the common denominator means something I guess. If nothing else, I know that my parents both love me and are proud of my accomplishments. Trust that I love them and appreciate all their love and support over the years.
I know I can’t be the only one who has funny stories of parents who did in a similar fashion… by accident. If you got any, feel free to share.
Peace & Love…