Celebrating 75

I’ve felt all knotted up lately. I’m not sure why. There never seem to be enough hours in a day, never enough days in a week. And I’ve just felt … I don’t know. Quiet. Moody. Tired. Not sad, but not enthusiastic about much either. I needed something.

I think it was my kids.

Last weekend provided a perfect excuse to call them home. My mom, their Nana turned 75 last Friday. My sis and I planned a party in her honor for Sunday afternoon. I asked the kids (the two not currently living here) if they could come home for the party. Both Jaeger and Chesney said they could. Ryker just needed a reminder to keep his Sunday afternoon free, as I expected him to join us at the party too.

Jaeger came on Friday night. Dacotah, of course, accompanied him. She came barrelling into the foyer after their four-hour drive, leaping around all of us, tail wagging fiercely, and rubbing against legs while looking for attention from anyone willing to give it. Lucy was elated to have a visit from her favorite canine friend as well as her “big brother.”

Jaeger was awfully quiet that night. He said his stomach was bothering him. I worried it had more to do with his recent break-up. It happened right after Christmas, and he hasn’t been in touch with us much since then, other than to let us know it was over. He’s not much of a talker, and in the past few weeks I’ve struggled to find the words or opportunity to offer some comfort. They had dated nearly a year. I know he’s hurting. I hurt for him. But there’s just not much I can do. He just needs time.

Saturday morning, Jaeger surfaced from the spare bedroom and plopped down on the loveseat in the living room. Turning the television on, he surfed channels until he found one of his beloved fishing shows. While he watched pro-fisherman pull Bluegills through holes in the ice, I made bacon and pancakes in the kitchen. We chatted a bit while he waited for the food to be ready. After breakfast and after cleaning up the kitchen, I joined him in the living room, settling into one of the big comfy chairs. He hoisted himself off the loveseat and wandered over to me. He bent over and just hugged me, holding on for some time. I rubbed his back and said, “I love you.” He mumbled into my shoulder, “I love you too, Mama.”

My 27 year-old son is still my little boy sometimes. Maybe he needed me too.

Little Guy from next door rang our doorbell in the afternoon. When Jaeger answered the door, Little Guy’s face lit up.

Hey!” he shouted. “I missed you!”

“You did?” Jaeger laughed.

“Yeah,” Little Guy said. “I didn’t get to see you last time!”

Little Guy’s always been rather shy, so it was fun for all of us to see his raucous display of affection and excitement. He seems to have grown up so much over the past couple of cold months. He turned four years old a few months ago. He’s gaining confidence, and getting pretty comfortable with all of us.

We were leaving to go out to dinner, so we had to send Little Guy back home, but did so with promises from Jaeger to play Wii bowling with him the next day.

Chesney came late Sunday morning. It was good to have my talkative, sunshiney girl back in the house. Jaeger teased her about why she hadn’t yet brought her new boyfriend around. She said she needed a week for mental prep first. I said I needed time to prime her dad to act like a normal human being first. Chesney agreed wholeheartedly. Don’t want to scare the poor guy off!

20150221bThe party on Sunday afternoon was nice. All of Mom’s kids and most of her grandchildren were there, as well as her oldest sister, and family from my dad’s side. The food was good, the presents were nice, and there were some beautifully sentimental birthday cards for Mom. And bonus – everyone managed to get along decently. I think Mom had fun.

We also accomplished a nice family picture, only after several takes in which the brothers made bunny ears, made goofball faces, and each pretended to put a finger in the other’s nose. Some people never grow up. Maybe that’s not always such a bad thing, though. I’ll take fun immaturity over boring and stuffy any day.

It was great to have all of my family together again for a change. I wish we’d had more time. It’s never enough. And it was hard to say goodbye when it was time for Jaeger and Chesney to leave again. It always is. But I’m so grateful to have had a couple of days with them. They were just what I needed.


10 thoughts on “Celebrating 75

  1. It’s to be expected that you’re going to feel ‘not quite right’ for some time. You’ve been through a lot and you still are dealing with your Mother. It’s good that the kids are a source of love and support. I know I feel that way about mine. But I can tell you that is hardly the case with a lot of families


    • I can’t get used to feeling ‘not quite right.’ I generally feel normal enough that when I don’t, I can’t figure out why. But I suppose you’re right. It’s a healing process.

      And yes, I’m very grateful that my kids are willing and able to come around. They bring back a sense of normalcy.


  2. Tee, your mom turned 75 at just the right time! Sounds like all of you needed an occasion to celebrate, rather than fretting/worrying over “life.” Be gentle with yourself, my friend. Grief takes a while (and many different forms), and you can’t rush it. Glad you and the kids were able to get together for some quality time. Happy belated b-day to your mom!


    • Thanks for your birthday wishes for Mom, Debbie! Yes, I’m sure you’re right that grief takes a while. I guess it wouldn’t be right if it all passed too quickly, but sometimes I wish it wouldn’t hover around for days on end, as it tends to do.


  3. I’m glad you had your kids and siblings around for a happy occasion! And I know you have some issues with your brothers, but those guys crack me up with the way you describe them. Sorry about Jaeger’s breakup. It’s nice he has you for a shoulder to cry on even at 27 – plus, pancakes and bacon!

    Happy 75th to your mom!


    • I’m glad I had them too! The timing was perfect for the kids to come around. Thanks for your birthday wishes to Mom!

      Yeah, my brothers actually CAN be quite enjoyable when they’re just being fun and silly … except maybe when they’re quoting movie lines from ‘Strange Brew.’ Ad nauseum.

      I think Jaeger will be okay. It was just really, really poor timing, happening right after my dad’s death, and Christmas. I’m sure he’ll be fine eventually. I’m guessing he’ll do the bachelor thing for a while though.


  4. I love that my boys stil need their “mama” once in a while. It means even more now that they are grown up. Sounds like Jaeger needed this weekend as much as you did.
    I know that feeling you’re describing very well. When we lost my hubby’s parents I craved my children’s company, and I felt their absence more than ever. For me, I just need to see for myself that they’re ok, and then I’m good for a while.
    Happy birthday to “your” mama. How wonderful that you were all able to celebrate with her.


    • That is a great feeling, isn’t it? To still be needed now and then, no matter how old they get. I think it did Jaeger good to be home. I worry about him being hours away from his entire family, but generally, he seems pretty content. Loves his job, has plenty of opportunity to hunt and fish, and has a bunch of friends. I will just always want him closer to home, and I’ll keep hoping. But like you, sometimes I just need to know that everyone is in a relatively good place, and then I can relax.

      Thank you for the birthday wishes for Mom!


  5. Aww your Mom looks just tickled to be surrounded by all of you! I just commented, on another post, that I was wondering about her. Family celebrations are important, and I’m glad you had an opportunity to all be together for something joyful ❤ MJ Happy 75th to your Mom!!

    Liked by 1 person

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