Today is my mom’s birthday. I’m not at liberty to say exactly how old she would have been because she never ever admitted to being of any age at all. Shortly before she died she told me not to be getting any ideas about organising any kind of a surprise 70th Birthday party, because she knew what I was like, and she was not going to be 70, no matter what Dad, or anyone else said.
She was right. As ever. Because she never got to 70 and we were indeed thinking of a birthday party. We have a bit of form for surprises: because if you told her of party plans she’d try to cancel them. Although she loved to roar with laugher, she didn’t like a big fuss. We managed to pull off a surprise 40th Wedding Anniversary party for her and Dad. It was great. Mom loved it, because she didn’t have time to worry beforehand. But I think it may have been a tad embarrassing for her, especially in front of her newer friends.
I come from a predictably large Irish family and Mom was a bit coy about admitting exactly how many children she had: stereotypical responses are, afterall, predictable and annoying. But stereotypes exist and persist for a reason. It doesn’t fuss me but then having lots of siblings is different to having lots of children.
I love being part of a huge family, even if they are terrible teasers. But as one of my elder brothers said at the 40th Party: ‘You’re lucky, at least she admits you exist!’
Happy eighty-something Mom!