Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Friday, September 12, 2014

1/26/14 RMB Celebrating Nine

1/26/14 RMB Celebrating Nine 

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

On this sunny Sunday the youngest of my nephew trio celebrated turning nine years old at a pizza party, complete with friends and relatives. I arrived at Maria’s to pick up the two “little” boys, who are almost as big as I am now. The birthday boy was ready to go. Middle son was nowhere in sight. Maria headed south in her truck and I headed north in my car, birthday boy in tow. I found him first, heading home on his skateboard with a few friends and neighbors. These boys have an entourage, wherever they go.

We circled back to tell Maria I had him and listened to the open truck window to open car window lecture on how he is supposed to tell her where he is going. Finally on our way, we arrived at the party right on time. I helped relatives carry presents inside and as I walked in the door, before I got to the party room, a little two foot tall female creature with curly brownish blond hair greeted me, arms stretched wide open as though she had been waiting a lifetime to see me.

Tiny arms and hands encircled my legs and held on tight. A smile beamed up at me. I have no idea who this creature was, but suspect that she belongs to a young couple that are friends of the family, one of Maria’s niece’s ex-boyfriends who is with someone else now but still “family”.

I extricated myself from the mini bear hug as Maria’s wife, the boys other mom, came out of the party room with her arms wrapped tightly around skateboard boy’s head. At first I thought he was in trouble, in one of those, “come over here and let me have a talking to you” motherly death grips.

I wondered, “What on earth could he have done already? It’s only been two minutes!” But then I saw the blood seep around her fingers and followed them into the women’s restroom behind the newly nine year old hot on her heels. This child also split his head open at about three when he dove for the eldest brother. The eldest dodged him and he connected with the corner of the door jamb instead. This time was not nearly as serious, but after his mom wiped away the blood we decided a trip to the ER was in order. He tried to help a girl that was falling and he fell too, connecting his head with the skateboard. He took it in to get keys to put it in their car and the girl ended up riding it, ugh.

I called Maria, who was home with the eldest because he was sick. I drove the four of us to the ER. I could have gone alone, but I always try to take a mom when doctors are involved. Inevitably they ask questions about their last shots or something or another that I don’t know. By the time he was seen, the bleeding had stopped and large lump was forming. The doctor glued him back together. That’s what they do these days instead of stitches. Rise of the Planet of the Apes played on the ER TV. Maria had the eldest checked out, but they said he just needed a couple more days for his body to fight off the bug.

Once home, hours later, we discovered that Christmas presents had been brought home from family members for the ER brothers. This was their first visit since the holidays. The eldest asked me to stay, so it would be more than just the boys and their moms and seem more like Christmas that way. It was a sweet request, even though I was exhausted and had not done my own evening’s chores, including laundry. I stayed. Presents were opened; the youngest showed off all of his gifts and we celebrated his birthday and the holiday season together. Who wants to do laundry anyway.

Cheers to Birthdays and happy endings,


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