Mom’s Birthday Bash

Mom and her brother, Tim, when they were about the same ages as my kiddos.
Mom and her brother, Tim, when they were about the same ages as my kiddos. Don’t ask what they were doing with that noose, no one knows.

My mom just turned 60, the day before Silas turned 5. She decided to just make September one big celebration, with a party in Winchester and a ladies’ weekend at a gorgeous house up a mountain outside of Lewisburg. I was so happy to get to celebrate with her.


Several family members came in for her Winchester celebration, including her brother, my brother and his wife, her mom, and her cousin-but-don’t-ask-exactly-how, Lisa. I hadn’t seen Tim since last summer when the kids and I stopped through on our Boston/New Hampshire trip, and I can’t remember the last time I saw Lisa. I’m happy that my mom got to celebrate her birthday with some of the people who were there at the beginning, as well as those of us she picked up along the way.

Four generations.
Four generations.

Spending time with my granny is a gift. I don’t get to see her much these days, and I appreciate every moment we get together. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to look at a 60-year-old woman and think, “Oh yes, I made that.” I can hardly fathom that Silas was ever a tiny baby, and he’s not even able to tie his shoes yet.

Reading with Aunt Jenica
Reading with Aunt Jenica

We had a little party pre-gaming because the official party was at a restaurant and the children were Not Invited. So Gary got some cupcakes and we lit candles and sang.

Speaking of people getting older when you’re not paying attention, Carlos was our BABYSITTER for the evening. I would never have thought of asking him, because in the deepest part of my brain, he’s still seven years old, but Mom suggested it. And I suddenly realized, Oh wow. He’s nearly 13. And super responsible. And my kids adore him. OKAY! He did a great job!

While he was doing that, we were having a dinner and singalong at a piano bar. I don’t know where mom got the idea, but it was a super fun party. The pianist was fantastic, and did just the right amount of cajoling and talking to make everyone feel at home, but not attacked or put on the spot. People came and went, and I was amazed to see how many friends my mom has in Winchester already.

And the next morning, the party wasn’t over. They don’t call her “Bubble Grammy” for nothing.

But as fun as that was, Wendyfest Part 2 was even better. Mom’s friend’s boyfriend has a huge “cabin” (it sleeps 42 people!) up the side of a mountain in West Virginia. He generously offered it, and Mom invited twenty friends from all different parts of her life to join her for a weekend up there. It was *awesome*. The place was gorgeous, the food was incredible, and everyone just shared what they had. Her friend Debbie is a massage therapist, and she spent the whole weekend “rubbing on people.” Robin, from WV, taught a great yoga class out on the porch one morning. Peggy and Suz sang. And everyone, old friends and new, just enjoyed each other.

As I think about my mom completing another decade, I’m just impressed. She’s a true connector, making and maintaining relationships with so many wonderful people. She’s rebuilt and transformed her life so many times, starting a new career at 45, marrying a new guy at 52, moving to a new city at 56, and making friends at every step along the way.

I’m so happy that she’s found a good community in Winchester, and that she’s managed to stay connected with the friends who were with her during their hippie dirt farmer phase, when she was my age.

I’m grateful that she has Gary in her life. They drive each other crazy a lot, but their love is deep and true. He’s good for her.

I’m also incredibly happy to have the chance to celebrate her 60th birthday with her. So many of my friends have missed out on that—either because their moms died young, or because they don’t have good relationships with them. I’m grateful for her good health. She’s in great shape and rarely has so much as a cold. We’ve had our rough patches, but I think my mom and I are closer now than we have ever been. A big part of that is the kids; she’s an amazing grandmother. Having her nearby helps, too—we can hang out, but it’s not three intense days. We can have dinner together and sleep in our own beds.

I’m really proud of what she’s accomplished in the past decade. I think her 50s were a good decade for her, maybe one of her best. She makes me feel like getting older is a great adventure; it’s not something I am scared of at all, because I see how my parents are just enjoying life more and more as they age.

Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope your 60s make your 50s look boring.

Where it all began
Where it all began


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One Comment

  1. […] they sustain me through my complicated relationships with my children. My mom always has had a number of close women friends, and she has prioritized those relationships in her life. I remember, when I was a kid, she would […]

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