I had a mind once. Now I have small children.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Birthday Fun

At the request of Uncle Corelone--who you NEVER turn down a request from--here is a little tidbit about celebrating the Papa's 60th birthday...

A couple of weeks ago, I got to fly on an airplane, by myself, to see my dad, by myself, for his 60th birthday party, by myself.  Did I mention that there were no Goombas with me and that I was BY MYSELF???  Oh, ok then.  Just so we are clear on that. 

I arrived Friday afternoon and got to spend some awesome quality time with the Zaz and the Pop.  That doesn't happen very often anymore, so it was really very nice.  A bit later, Uncle Corleone came with my cousin Lil' Corleone.  As I am the oldest (by far, ugh) of all my cousins, it was so great to get to spend some time with a teenager and do all kinds of fun girlie stuff.  Also, with the Corleones, my brother, Don Juan and his new girlfriend came.  Just for the sake of keeping track of who belongs with whom, let's call her Ms. Juan. 

Since it was unseasonably warm for mid-November, we spent Friday evening sitting out on the deck, laughing and having drinks.  Ms. Juan and I bonded instantly over a bottle of vodka.  That we ended up mixing with old wine coolers.  Just for the record... That is NOT a good combination. 

The next morning, dear, sweet Uncle Corleone woke everyone up to the sound of a bullhorn at about 7 a.m.  But, since he doesn't scare me, I just gave him a dirty look, rolled back over and went back to sleep.  There were NO Goombas--I was not waking up at the crack of dawn! 

Later in the day, my other brother, Law-Man arrived in town, unfortunately without Mrs. Law-Man, but I guess we will take him anyway.  Even more exciting, around lunch time, Auntie Mets came and totally surprised the pants off of the Papa. 

It was loud, there was lots of food and there was even more beverage.  And the official party hadn't even started yet! 

That evening we went to a local restaurant and sat in a private area to celebrate 60 years of the Papa.  The booze flowed like wine and we all shared our favorite memories.  For some reason, most of the memories somehow came back around to Don Juan's childhood antics.... not sure how that happened, but ok.  Now, it could have been the rum talking, but I did get a little teary-eyed when I gave my toast to dad.  I mean, after all, Daddy, I really am so lucky to have turned out "just like you." 

By Sunday, everyone was stuffed full of food and trying to ease their hangovers with some "hair of the dog."  I hated to leave so soon, but alas, the Goombas and Bowser needed me.  I was so happy to have spent the weekend with family that I don't get to see very often.  Really, in short, I think the best way to describe it is simple:  A good time was had by all. 

Cheers!  Happy Birthday, Daddy! 

ps--there's your blog, Uncle Corelone!  And Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.  The end.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

He knows...

***WARNING***  This is a post about the big man in the red suit.  This is NOT intended for the eyes or ears of young believers!!!


He knows.  My baby knows.  He isn't a baby anymore, I realize, but he is still MY baby and now he KNOWS.  I had a feeling this was coming.  I mean, he is in fourth grade and I know how kids talk.  Bowser said he knew when he was nine years old.  I distinctly remember driving in the Papa's truck, Blackie, when I was in 4th grade when he dropped the bomb on me.  And now, my oldest is in on the secret, too.

Yesterday, Mario and I were on our way to his orthodontist appointment.  He was going on and on about how he wants a Wii U for Christmas.  (Sidenote:  Really?  When did gifts start having to be so expensive???)  I tried to gently tell him that Santa wants everything to be pretty equal and that would be a very expensive gift for just one of my Goombas to get.  I tried to tell him that there aren't very many Wii U's being released.  I tried...  I did...

Mario:  But, Santa MAKES the Wii U, so of course he can bring me one.

Me:  Well, there are some things that Santa can't make.  Sometimes he has to buy things.

Mario:  So, Santa can't afford a Wii U?

Me:  Well, he has a LOT of kids to deliver presents to.  What do you think?

Mario:  (silence)

Me:  What are you thinking about?

Mario:  Well, some of the kids at school say things about Santa.

Me:  (feeling the anxiety welling in my chest, knowing what is about to happen next)  And what do they say?

Mario:  They say that Santa is really your parents and that they wait till you are asleep and they put out all the presents and eat the cookies and then go back to bed.

Me:  And what do you think about that?

Mario:  (momentary pause)  I think that is the truth.

BAM!   There it is.  He knows.  With a small ache in my heart I told him that, yes, indeed, Santa is actually your parents.

He was mad at first.  "Why would parents lie like that to their kids???"  Then he was sad.  "Well, does this mean Santa won't come for me anymore?"  Then he was semi-excited to be "in" on the secret.  "So, I can help my brother and sister still believe?"

We drove around and talked for a few minutes.  I told him that of course Santa would still bring him stuff and about how Santa is really the spirit of Christmas and giving.  That there was once a man who became Saint Nicholas and eventually known as Santa Clause.  I told him how important it was to keep the spirit and secret alive with his brother and sister, because that is part of the magic of Christmas.  I think I said all the right stuff.  Maybe?  I've never really had to do this before.  But, he seems ok with it, so I guess I am, too.

And now he knows.  My baby is growing up.


PS--Uncle Corleone... The birthday blog is coming!  I promise!  I did not forget!