Twelve years ago, I started dating my wife. I would marry her two years later and we celebrated our 10th anniversary September 23rd. Tomorrow is another celebration – September 30 is my father-in-law’s birthday, as well as his wife’s.
During the 18 years I spent single between wives, I never thought I would have another set of in-laws. I was pleasantly surprised to meet my wife’s parents, along with a host of uncles and aunts and cousins, again. I had known them all in high school, during which time I had a terrific crush on my wife; it was also a time she spent ignoring me because I was one year behind her in school. Today, I still give her grief about it, as well as kid her about “robbing the cradle.” I am exactly five months and 29 days younger, almost exactly 180 degrees out of phase, with her birthday.
One of the stories she tells about her growing up is the time when she became aware of her parents birthdays falling on the same day, only a year apart. Somehow, she acquired the notion she had to find a husband who was born on her birthday. She knew her parents had clipped the copy of the birth announcements from the day she was born. Imagine her surprise when she discovered all the babies born on her birthday were girls! Not one boy!
Later, she realized she was being silly, that her husband might have been born in a different city than hers – on her birthday! That made her feel better, but there was still a little doubt remaining. Then she realized, he might have been born in a different year, just like her parents.
Her parents raised her with a natural sense of inquisitiveness. I always thought her parents did a wonderful job in bringing her and her sister up in the world.
Her mom and dad grew up during The Great Depression and learned a lot during that time. They also survived the insanity of World War II and created a much better place for all Americans to live following the war.
When I came along into their lives, I knew I was in the right place one morning when I got up and beat everyone else to the coffee pot. There, in their refrigerator without my asking, was the hazelnut creamer I always used in my coffee at home. That was the day I knew these were really very special people.
They did a very wonderful job raising their daughters. They passed on their values to their girls teaching them how to live, laugh, and love.
For these very special people, I would like to say, Happy Birthday.
© 2010 J. Clark