Miss Bee’s Bolivar Buzz

Shannon WilliamsBy Shannon Williams
Count not the candles…see the light they give. Count not the years, but the life you live
Birthdays, they happen each year and to all of us, but we all view them differently and have very different expectations on how they should be celebrated, or if they should be celebrated. Birthdays entered my life in a stressful way at age 5. We were living in England on a Royal Air Force Base as my father was doing an exchange pilot program. We were the only Americans on the base and my little Texas accent really stood out.

May you be gifted with life’s biggest joys and never-ending bliss. After all, you yourself are a gift to earth, and as such you deserve the best

I was invited to a birthday party down the street and was so excited to go and to wear my new red party dress. The party was in full swing when one of my older brothers showed up to inform me that I was to return home! We had not had cake yet and I was not in favor of leaving the party. My mother had just returned home after being in the hospital giving birth to my younger sister, I could not understand why I needed to leave a party for that, so I just did not go with my brother. Well, next came my oldest brother and my older sister and told me my daddy was heading down next if I was not home right away. Even back then I was chicken to get in much trouble, so I left the party, I think tears were shed! This story is one told by my family about how I lost my place as the baby of the family and how upset I was about the whole deal!

I don’t remember many other birthdays until 6th grade when I had decided that I wanted to be an oceanographer and thus just had to have an aquarium. I worked for hours to get it all set up only to have all the fish get “fish ich” and die. Again, the tears and unhappiness around a birthday were present. The years went by and I had some really neat birthdays! I go to go to a Dan Fogelberg concert in Austin for one birthday and had front row seats as a sweet friend had waited in line to get great seats for us. I spent my 21 Birthday in Las Vegas and again went to Vegas for my fifty birthday and saw Cher!

But being a mom brings the birthday process into a whole different realm. I loved planning my son’s birthday parties and we had one every year. They would always have a theme and I would be spending so much time planning and buying all that was needed. Now this was 30 years ago, so no Amazon or Party City, so I had to really search for items I wanted to use or get out the glue gun and see what I could do on my own. I had a great group of mom friends, and we would always help each other with Birthday parties and loved getting carried away. The kids did have fun also!

Today is my husband’s birthday and to say he is a low-key birthday person is a understatement and the older he gets the less he wants to have anything to do with the day meant to celebrate him. Oh, but he always wants a cake and this year he ordered his own!

I always come up with several options of what we should do and each year he wants a good home cooked meal of his choice and a cake, and he is good with just that. He did let me give him a big party for his 60th. He had a great time, but still felt that his birthday was not reason to have such a party. This year his birthday fell on his first grandson’s first baseball game. If you know anything about my hubby, he loves baseball and loved watching his son play, so was excited to go and watch his grandson. We needed to take separate cars as I was already across the water, and I arrived late. I could feel his smile before I sat down. He was back 20 years ago watching and coaching his own son. I am sure during those days he never thought of what it would be like to watch his grandson play baseball, but he loved every minute of it.

After the game we went to eat at an older place he used to go and get beef ribs for dinner. So, now he has beef ribs and both of his grandson at the table. The smile just kept getting bigger. He really did not need anything more than a baseball game and being with those two little ones. Once we got home, he was reflective, and several times talked about “how blessed we are” and it is true. So, I guess it is not about the party or the theme or even the cake, but the family and friends that we share our day with.

Next week, I will be traveling to spend my mother’s 94th birthday with her. Again, we are blessed in that she still knows who each of her children and grandchildren are. When we have asked about what she wants to do, she tells us nothing and no party and no need for anyone to come. Well, we really did not listen and 4 of 5 of her children and a few of her grandchildren will be present for her birthday. We won’t ask what she wants to eat, as we know her favorite foods and she would tell us she would just eat in the dining room at her little group home. We also make sure there is cake and ice cream, both things that she really loves. She won’t remember what took place when I call to tell her I got home. She always asks, were did I go, so I just call her and not tell her I am back at home. She does not like it when she does not recall things, so we just go with the flow and don’t point out what she might not recall. But for a few hours she will have most of her family with her. We will all count our blessings for having her still and enjoy her smile when the ice cream comes out.

So, I guess birthdays are different for each one of us, but in the end having those we love around is really the best gift, but the ice cream is still nice!

Paul and his two favorite gifts, his grandsons

Paul and his two favorite gifts, his grandsons, 7 years old and 9 months.

[Sep-20-2022]

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