Since we were children, mom has made it a tradition to take each us out for lunch or dinner on his or her birthday. I don’t know how old we were when the tradition started. We used to go out as an entire family and gradually just the birthday child.
This continued for the grandchildren after Patrick and his wife started having children. I remember going out with the oldest two with the entire family – which gradually turned into just Patrick’s family and then just the grandchild.
I know my youngest nephew was four when my mom took him out. His mom and I just happened to be with them. I don’t know where we went to eat (probably somewhere exciting – like McDonald’s) but I do remember him choosing a pair of green overall shorts that probably only fit him just that one day.
I remember him saying, “I am four. Today is four. And I wear four” The overalls were marked size four – I think they must have been mismarked however. I seriously don’t believe he wore something that small since he was two. (My nephew is quite large in stature)
After I married, my mom continued to take out Patrick’s children, but never mine. She did acknowledge the boys’ birthdays for the most part. But she stopped remembering when Jenna’s birthday even is.
My mom and sister were both in the hospital with me the day that Jenna was born. But my mom does not remember. It’s not her fault. She may have dementia. There’s a lot that she doesn’t remember.
My sister’s baby is almost two. Grandma’s favorite grandchild – or so it appears. But I don’t know if she remembers what month she was born either. Although she might have an idea as their birthdays are only a week apart (eight days).
So it’s not just Jenna who won’t be celebrating birthdays with Grandma. My sister’s two children will probably never know my mom the way Patrick’s children did. Before she had dementia. Before when she had more independence and a driver’s license.
I miss my mom. I’m sad for the loss that her three youngest grandchildren may never know first handedly. I am grateful that each of us have memories to share.