The Birthday Week

Tomas and MC have birthdays within a week of each other. MC had hers on Saturday, the day Denisa and I were laid out by the vaccine. We did our best to try and still make sure she had a special day (Denisa and the kids blew up balloons and put up streamers the night before, knowing there was a fair chance we might not feel great the next day), but it still wasn’t quite what we could have made it, and we felt bad about that. The good news is that MC is eight, and she didn’t seem to notice anything was that different. She was ecstatic to get presents, eat cake and ice cream, and have vegan mac & cheese (her request) for dinner. “Best birthday ever,” she proclaimed at the end, though she has a tendency to say that about every day, so I’m trying not to wonder just how bad all the birthdays were before this one. 🙂

Of particular note is the fact that she turned 8, and so she’s now able to be baptized. We’ll be doing that May 1st at 10am, and at the moment it’s looking like it’ll be in Waterville of all places, since the baptismal font in our local building has some technical issues. If you’re interested in Zooming into the proceedings, let me know and I can get you a link. If you’re interested in coming in person, I think we can accommodate that too, as long as you don’t have anything against wearing masks. MC’s very excited.

She’s also particularly proud of herself for learning how to ride a bike before she turned 8. Denisa suggested she set that as a personal goal, and MC worked hard to get there. It was a rush of effort at the end that finally pushed her over (and a ton of attention from Denisa), but it’s amazing to see how fast she went from “can’t stay on the bike” to “pedaling wherever she wants.” And for bike riding, at least, the paved back driveway to the assisted living center they put in front of our house turns out to be pretty perfect.

Tomas, on the other hand, is turning 17 tomorrow. His life is in a very different spot compared to MC’s, filled with things like SATs and AP classes and finding jobs and learning how to drive. He had a surprise birthday party earlier in the week, socially distant and outside, but thrown completely unbeknownst to him. We even managed to rope his driving instructor into it. It was Tomas’s first day of actually driving, and his instructor pretended to get lost in town, having Tomas take wrong turn after wrong turn, until he ended up at one of his friend’s houses. (It really helped that Tomas hadn’t been to that house before. It also helps that non-drivers generally don’t pay any attention to where they’re being driven, so it wasn’t like Tomas already had a good sense of where he was in town in the first place.)

Last year his 16th birthday was pretty much swallowed up by COVID, so it was really nice to see him have such a good one this year.

In any case, if you see or talk to either of those two this week, make sure to wish them a happy birthday.


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