OK, I don't mind the kids getting older, I really don't. I love to see them grow up and find their way, their path in life, watch them take everything we've tried to teach them, and make a run with in their own lives, in their own unique way. I watched the stepkids grow up since they were just little things, and now they are all slowly but surely leaving the nest, leaving behind their youth, their childhood, their innocence, and us. It's a wonderful thing.
If only I wasn't growing older right along with them!
But anyways.....it mattered NOT that we had had all the same people together for our yearly Halloween soiree only two weeks earlier, or that we'd all be together again in just a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving. No siree! I love to plan and orchestrate any type of celebration, holiday or family gathering. I guess it's because I love my family so much.
So with Jessica's birthday falling on November 3rd, I organized and gathered the clan for a dinner celebration at a local family owned restaurant. So the big night arrives. Everyone shows up with gifts and cards, and we brought a cake for candles and singing. The first hint that the night would not go as planned was when our waitress appeared to be either drunk or on drugs. She was friendly, alright, but in that way of "oh, s***, I'm drunk....maybe if I'm extra nice to these people, they won't notice". Please, Lord, don't let her trip and fall over one of us. Maybe she wasn't drunk, I don't know, maybe she was just challenged in some mental or emotional health way. But whatever, she was just so overboard with us on everything. It was creepy.
Our second mishap was when one of the decorations hanging on the wall above our heads....fell OFF the wall. No one was hurt, mind you, but it was bizarre. It was just a flower wreath, but sure enough. The nail it was hanging on must have slipped, because the wreath came flopping down on top of our table.
Well, the family's all there....we order our food. And wait half an hour for our drinks to be served. The drinks finally arrive, and tipsy the waitress spilled my Dad's sprite all over him.
Eventually, our food arrives also. Now the fun begins. My brother and sister-in-law, Terry and Theresa, had ordered a medium pizza to split between the two of them. Their pizza arrives, a cheese and veggie pizza. The cheese is there, the veggies are there, but about the inner 1/3 to 1/2 of the pizza is still RAW PIZZA DOUGH! Disgusting! One in-law ordered a fish dish without pepper, due to her allergy to pepper. How did it arrive? WITH PEPPER! Hubby ordered a steak medium rare. It was so well done he practically broke his steak knife trying to cut it. They may as well have served him a brick. I ordered a Fettuccine Alfredo. The pasta noodles were way undercooked and hard to bite. Out of about 20 people there, only one couple had their food arrive as ordered, and edible.
But despite the bad service and WORSE food, a good time was had...I mean, isn't the point of a family gathering to enjoy the people you're with? We did...sure, the girls sniped and quarreled and gossiped. They're 18 and 21 and 25 now, but when the three of them are together, they still act like grade schoolers. But ya know what? That's them. Gotta love them. Jessica really felt the love that night. She got gifts and cards and a cake and we all sang and kissed and hugged her. Those things are important...our family learned the hard way with the loss of Angelia. You take the moments, even the bad ones, and embrace them, treasure them, hold onto them and remember them, because you never know when you might never see them again.
Happy Birthday, Jessica! My baby girl is growing up!