Today was my mother's birthday. She would have been 67. Today was also the first time in eleven years that Gram has ever needed to be reminded of the date; usually she heavily confronts me with the announcement of it in a way that suggests to my mind hard expectation. The fact that she actually forgot, even for a day, was a terribly telling point in her deterioriation, a dismal pulse-check. I didn't know what else to do with her, so I suggested we stop for lunch at Pete’s, my treat, on our way to my in-laws' house. Rob met us at the diner and we ate our usual heartburn-inducing fare: hamburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger. Gram looked a little lost, but we all made an effort to be cheerful.
My sister- and brother-in-law, Heidi and Todd, are in town with their four young children for the weekend. Gram and I drifted over to Tribal Headquarters--my in-laws' house--after having our lunch and visited a while. I felt stupidly mute in that family setting, though I love them all very much and am so glad to see them again. I did brush Heidi’s long strawberry tresses for her, which she seemed to consider a treat. It was a nice way to hang out with her. Also, I did spend some time playing with the three older kidlets in their room downstairs and taught them how to make balloons sing and talk. That was lots of fun and good noisy bonding, though after a while I'd nearly sprained my head blowing up bright bubbles again and again and again and again and again. My little chorus of latex screechers wasn’t very enthusiastically received by the upstairs portion of the gathered family--but who can blame the adults for wincing when we decided to take our show on tour? I guess some music really is meant to stay underground.
Sweet moon-faced Maggie was wearing a great new thrift store find--a black and orange Halloween witch costume, complete with wilted pointy hat--so naturally to finish out our afternoon play-date properly I had to let her work some hoodoo on me; she put me to sleep, fed me a little poison, chopped me up, and cooked me into a rather nice auntie stew. Of course, I didn't get to taste me, but Maggie said I was delicious.