Sunday, August 20, 2017

A big birthday






This past week, the Bear celebrated an important birthday - his fortieth. We had a low-key family evening, befitting his relaxed personality. He doesn't like to have a big deal made over him, so while I contemplated a bigger party, I decided that home was the best place to celebrate his birthday, with just us and his parents. That's how we have always celebrated his birthday. He chose to go out for dinner - at Paisano's, a good local Italian restaurant - with dessert back at home. He asked me to make tiramisu, which is what he usually asks for every year. We had dessert and he opened his presents. My present to him was a beer-of-the-month club subscription. He's somewhat difficult to shop for, so I usually try to go with something very safe. I know he likes beer, so that's always a good choice. I'm already thinking about scotch for Christmas, also a safe and welcomed option. Really, when you think about it, his being hard to shop for makes him easy to shop for.

We had a nice evening. No rainbow, as in years past; the skies were rather dark. I didn't take very many photos, regretfully, but we did have a very nice time. The GB spent a while examining Grandma's bracelet, which is a family heirloom she wears on special occasions. It's a "grandmother's bracelet," passed down in my father-in-law's family through three generations of grandmothers so far. The bracelet is gold, with dangling flat charms in the shape of children's heads. Each is engraved with a name and date of birth. There are five boy charms and one girl charm. The girl charm represents the GB, who is the first girl born into the family in three generations - nearly 100 years. She loves to look at the only girl on the bracelet and see her name there.

The Bear's parents gave him a wonderful birthday present - three albums filled with photos from his childhood. Every single photo is carefully annotated - who, when, where - and every page has stickers and decorative bits to represent the season or holiday, or the place, such as beach or zoo. They did so much. These albums are incredible. I have absolutely loved looking through them with him. He was such a beautiful baby, and such a fun-loving boy, and I can see a lot of my children in him as he grew up. I only have a handful of photos of myself as a baby or child, which is why I've always tried to take pictures of my kids doing just about anything, special or ordinary, and why I'm glad to be blogging. I like having a record for them to enjoy. I hope I'm creating a family life they can look back on later and feel good about.

So far, 40 has been good to him, he says. I told him to keep me posted; he's fifteen months and one week older than I am. It's hard to believe he's 40. He was 21 when I met him, a smart but impulsive kid. He had already been hired for his first job (which became his career, in the military-industrial field, with the same employer today), at a salary which seemed absolutely astronomical to both of us at the time. He was moving into a one-bedroom apartment of his own, in the basement but nicely appointed, which seemed fabulously adult after the shared apartment in a crumbling three-decker. I think there's a wonderful benefit to having known your spouse from a young age. You get to see the transformations over time, the growth from young adult to full-fledged grown-up. We've had an important year together - 15 years of marriage and his 40th birthday - milestones in two places. I'm proud to be with him, side-by-side in a rich and happy life. Here's to at least 40 more!

19 comments:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful celebration belated birthday wishes for your dear husband and congratulations on your wedding anniversary, wishing you many more happy years together.

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  2. Happy birthday to the Bear!! Take it from me, Jennifer, your forties are ok. I would very much like some tiramisu right now. Yours looks very tasty.
    Leanne xx

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  3. Happy 40th to your Bear, Jennifer. What a great gift his parents gave him. I bet LB and GB love looking at photos of Daddy as a child! :o)

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  4. It sounds like a wonderful birthday celebration for your Bear. Happy 40th Birthday to him. I love the story of the bracelet too. I'm sure it's extra special because she's the first girl in the family. Hubby and I have been together since I was 15! We married when I was 18 and he was 22. I can honestly say I love him more now than ever before. It seems you, too, have that kind of marriage. Thanks for sharing your life with all of us.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  5. Happy Birthday to the Bear! It sounds like a perfect celebration, the type my husband and I would like as well. The albums are a treasure.

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  6. wonderful!!! sounds like the perfect birthday! My 40th birthday was spent with family as well. it's such a blessing! Neat that you have known your husband for such a long time! I dated only my Husband and did not meet him until I was 34, married him at 35 and now I am 40, with our 5th anniversary just around the corner! May you both indeed be blessed with more than 40 more years together!

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  7. Happy birthday to the Bear. The 40's are okay, I just wish they'd last a little longer as I've only got just over a year left of mine. It sounds like a lovely celebration with such a wonderful gift from his parents. I still print off photos to put into albums even though we're in the digital age, there's nothing nicer than turning those pages whilst all the memories come flooding back. I've never heard of a grandmother's bracelet before, how unusual.

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  8. Happy Birthday to the Bear! It is really lovely to read about your family traditions and your family life. The charm bracelet is such a unique and wonderful heirloom! Being given albums that show the Bears early life is an amazing gift. His parents will have cherished these albums for a long time and handing them over is a great honour. I am a bit sentimental actually with family albums, love to look through my own :-) Enjoy this week my friend. xx

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  9. I am a keen scrapbooker as you know so those albums will be a treasure to you and your family. Also this little event resonated with me because I am the only girl in our family since my great grandparents generation and it is a special feeling so I know what she feels like. We have two silver charm bracelets with dangling sentiments but not faces and dates - that is something really precious. Happy Birthday Bear! Jo xxxxx

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  10. Oh, very happy birthday to the papa bear!
    I like low key parties, too. It sounds like your celebration was just right.

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  11. What a lovely post. I love looking at scrapbooks, I wish there were more photos of my husband as a child to look back on. Sounds a lovely birthday with a present I know my husband (also difficult to buy for) would love those beers xx

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  12. Happy big four-oh to your hubby! I just turned 55 and my husband 57, so I feel terribly old compared to you guys - but I remember turning 40 with a lot of fondness. My mom had a big surprise party for me and it was fabulous. I normally don't like attention fawned on me, nor do I like crowds, etc. but that evening was an exception. And I loved turning 40. Don't ask about turning 50. ;-) My hubby and I were just talking last night how it seems we have been together "forever", too. We were so young when we met and started dating...19 and 21! Enjoy all the precious moments together. Love how your in-laws made those scrapbooks...that had to be the best present of all.

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  13. Happy 40th to your husband! Oh to be so young again ha ha!! Low key is not to be under-rated as those are still memorable times spent with those you love. What a wonderful gift of the photos albums. I'll bet your husband was really surprised! The grandmother's bracelet sounds wonderful. What a very special memento to have passed down through the generations. Your kids must feel very much a part of a bigger family. My husband and I met when we were both 21. Next year we celebrate our 30th anniversary.

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  14. Happy Birthday to your Bear! It sounds like you gave him just the kind of celebration he enjoys. I think you have a special gift for being thoughtful. :-)

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  15. Happy birthday to your husband, we like quiet celebrations too.

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  16. Happy Birthday to the Bear, hope he has at least 50 more!

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  17. What a lovely post Jennifer, I'm glad he had a good birthday. He's built a wonderful life together with you and your children I think. The photo albums are brilliant, the sort of thing you could look at for hours. I like the idea of blogging being a record of life as well. CJ xx

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  18. Happy birthday to your husband! The three albums are a great idea :)))))

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  19. A belated very happy birthday to the Bear. He's clearly very loved.

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