Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Mo-om,
Happy Birthday to you!!!
(How cute is my mom?)
I wonder what they'll do today, Mom and Dad, to celebrate Mom's birthday. Maybe a nice dinner out in town, or maybe a day on the boat? Or maybe Mom'll cut loose and go a little wild, like few people know she can... Don't let this sweet face fool you. She can party, and party hard.
A few years ago Mom spent her birthday with Chris and me in Italy. She came for a month; it was nice to have my mom around for such a stretch to participate in MY daily life. (Good thing Chris likes his mother-in-law!) She also got to be there to help out with a friend's baby shower. Aside from spending a day in Florence here, and a day in Siena there, the three of us also took a little trip up into Slovenia. We hiked the world's largest underground canyon, well, part if it, and we saw Slovenia's coastal towns and her mountain villages, too, within the span of two days. Slovenia is small. Although it was not her birthday while we were there, Mom decided to let down her hair, so to speak, and party it up a bit. Maybe it was hanging out with two crazy kids, such as ourselves, or being temporarily free of the typical daily obligations of home, we can't be sure.
It started innocently enough, sitting outside the castle in Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital city. We'd climbed the great hill and walked the grounds, and had taken a seat at an outdoor cafe for refreshments. Of course Chris and I ordered strawberry milkshakes to cool us down, but Mom wasn't having any of that sissy business. How'd she even KNOW Slovenia was not just the originating place of what is believed to be the oldest musical instrument in Europe (the bone of a cave bear with man-made holes bore through it), but giant alcoholic beverages, too!
We were able to keep her from ordering another and continue on our day of sightseeing without (much) incident. But when dinner rolled around, she was ready for more. When we tried to suggest perhaps a glass of cool water after such a long day, she shot us a look only a mother can give. She was having her wine!
Since it was summertime, the sun didn't set until after ten o'clock. With extended daytime hours, many local attractions remained open for the tourists' business. We decided to hop on over to Lake Bled and it's accompanying town and castle. We underestimated the strength of the wine, apparently, because even an hour later, Mom had convinced herself that she was the Queen of Bled, residing in its beautiful castle. She climbed up into that castle and peered down at the rest of us, her subjects, admiring the amazing view over the lake. We tried to call her down, but she refused. When we waved to get her attention, she just waved back, happy to be admired by her people.
In the end we were able to wrestle her away and bring her safely back to our piddly hotel, nothing like a castle. When she sobered up from her partying ways she was Mom again, and we all enjoyed the rest of the trip.
It was a fun trip and I'll always remember it fondly. Here's hoping this year Mom doesn't party quite so hard, but enjoys her day anyhow. Love you, Mom! Happy Birthday :)
(Some images above have been manipulated for comedic purposes. And although the above story is mostly untrue, it was fun to write anyway.)