Happy 81st Birthday, Mom!

 Today’s is my mother’s 81st birthday. 

Last year for her 80th we had a family party, attended by her four children, spouses, and nearly all of her 9 grandchildren. Since then, two great-grandsons have arrived and another great-grandchild is due next month.

My siblings and I collaborated (and cooperated!) , planning the food, which we all made, and the entertainment, which we wrote, borrowing melodies from familiar Broadway shows.   Through a flurry of emails and phone calls, we  laughed as we remembered anecdotes for a skit, contributed our favorite food mom makes for a song, and recalled what she’s taught us.

The grandchildren, then ranging in ages from 7 to 25, sang  “Hello, Grandma” based loosely on “Hello Dolly.”

My sisters, brother and I did the rest. Here are two:

OUR FAVORITE THINGS

Tune: My Favorite Things  from “The Sound of Music” (with apologies to Rogers & Hammerstein)

Corned Beef and pot roast
Lamb shanks and French toast
We are so happy whatever you bring
These are a few of our favorite things

Kugel and beet borscht, stuffed cabbage and blintzes
Matzo balls, chopped liver, and more Jewish dishes
Barbequed hamburgers and chicken wings
These are a few of our favorite things

All of your cookies and all of your pies,
Sandwiches and your famous matzo brie
Crabapple jam that always zings
These are a few of our favorite things

Pancakes and eggs with salami
Pasta with pesto and stuffed manicotti
Eating with you makes us all want to sing
These are a few of our favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When we’re  feeling sad
We  simply remember our favorite things
And then we don’t feel so bad

We followed this with a skit that isn’t worth repeating and then this poem, each of taking a line in each stanza.

What You Taught Us by Lisa, Naomi, David & Madeline

You taught us to bake a cake
You taught us to darn a sock
You taught us to iron our shirts
And how to remove the toughest of dirts

You taught us to hem a skirt and knit a sweater
You taught us to be prepared for all kinds of weather
You taught us to match our clothes
So we wouldn’t clash from head to toes

You taught us to roll a thin pie crust
You taught us to sweep, vacuum and dust
You taught us to be thrifty, to recycle and reuse
And shop carefully and write thank  yous

You took us to museums, music lessons, and plays
You took us to the library, Chatfield,* and ballets
You helped us make costumes, prom gowns and props
Your energy never seemed to ever stop

You taught us to wear an apron when we cooked
You always complimented us on how we looked
You taught us to ask how can I help and what can I bring
You listened to us complain about a lot of things

You taught us have a positive attitude
You put up with us in many different moods.
You taught us to be open minded and care for others
Whether animals or our fellow sisters and brothers.

(*The state park near our house where we swam.)

Madeline made a  “Golden Hands” certificate, to honor the hands that never quit, and we gave her a pair of gold leather gloves.  “Happy Birthday” was sung in four languages: French by  Naomi and Pierre, Russian by David and his girls, Hebrew by Jacob & Nathan, Adeena & Karen, and of course, English!

This year we’re all meeting at the Goodspeed Opera House in Haddam, CT to see “Showboat.”

Happy Birthday, Mom!

(for more about my mother see  https://cyclingrandma.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/wisdom-of-my-mother/)
–post on mothers’ day)

PS. Happy Birthday Dana!

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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9 Responses to Happy 81st Birthday, Mom!

  1. Barbara W. Klein says:

    90% lies, but thank all of you just the same.

    Like

  2. beachbarb says:

    I love reading about the Klein Family and I particularly enjoyed hearing about last year’s 80th birthday celebration for you mom. You guys are all so creative.

    Guess you can tell II finally opened a wordpress account. Not sure what I’ll so with it but at least it’s a start.

    Like

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