Oof! I’m so full!
I just got back from a delicious birthday lunch for Aunt Louise’s 59th birthday! All of us in-town “girls” went to Culver’s this afternoon and enjoyed burgers, fries, and Culver’s famous custard. Except for Aunt Judi, who bucked the high-cholesterol trend and went healthy with a salad.
Of course, she did admit to eating a Hershey’s bar in the car before she got to the restaurant.
For birthday guests, there was the guest of honor – Aunt Louise, my cousin Tammy (her daughter) and her 11 year old daughter Megan, my Aunt Judi and her 13 year old daughter Elizabeth, Grandma, Mom, and me. We made a nice little crowd and added to Culver’s already crowded lunch crowd (too many “crowds”?).
Turns out all the local high school kids go to Culver’s on their lunch period, so we had kids from public schools and the nearby Catholic high school hanging around making us feel ancient.
Except for Megan and Elizabeth, of course, who probably wished they could join them.
As always, we had a good and goofy-Rehfeldt time teasing each other. Mom teased Tammy about forgetting the birthday cupcakes. Aunt Judi teased Elizabeth about the cute boys at the next table. I teased Megan about being a grown-up, and so on.
It is amazing to me to be an adult. When I looked at Megan and Elizabeth, the realization struck me that I will be 29 years old in August. To them, I’m just as old and grown up as my aunts and cousin that were sitting around the table. When I look at my aunts and cousin I think of myself as young, but I realized I’m not young, not really, anymore.
I’m actually an adult.
Someday, Megan and Elizabeth will be sitting around a table with me and think, “Hey, when did I get to be 29?” Or at least I hope so.
They are both on their way to becoming wonderful women. Megan is a bit shyer and very sweet. She’s insightful and caught all of our sly comments and jokes. She’s very polite and didn’t roll her eyes once at our crazy over-the-top antics. I found it very charming how attentive and kind she was to her Grandma (my Aunt Louise) as she opened cards and exclaimed over gifts. Not to mention, she’s also very pretty with honey blond hair and bright eyes.
Elizabeth reminds me more of myself. She’s funny and quick-witted, although she joked with us about having her “blonde moments.” When we asked her if she had a boyfriend, her face lit up when she said, “Oh, are we talking about ME? I love that!” Like Megan, she had gorgeous blonde hair and a smile a mile wide. At 13, she DID notice the cute boys at the table next to us and only blushed a little when her Mom teased her. I found myself staring at her, wondering where my little six year old flower girl went, and who this almost-adult was in front of me.
Like I said, it was hard to believe!
Grandma sat serenely through all of our raucous laughter and shrieking. Occasionally, she’d pipe up with little news bulletins. “Uncle Bruce’s legs are falling asleep more and more.” “Cousin Jason’s graduation party is next week.” “Stop eating my fries, Ann-Marie.” Stuff like that.
My mom teased Tammy mercilessly about forgetting the birthday cupcakes, even though Tammy had a great excuse – her mind was preoccupied because someone may have hacked into their family’s bank account – that’s good enough reason to have your mind somewhere else! I’m actually surprised she wasn’t MORE panicked! I mean, forget the cupcakes, I’d lose my sanity!
Aunt Judi was delightful as always, as the one person who always gets my jokes and shares my those-crazy-Rehfeldt-sisters eye rolls across the table. I’ve always liked her as my aunt, but getting to know her as a person and a friend has been a huge benefit of growing up.
And the birthday girl – my Aunt Louise – was the life of the party with her distinctive voice, contagious laughter, and bordering-on-risqué jokes and stories. I’ve loved her since I was little when she and Tammy used to tag-team baby-sit me.
She would make me delicious grilled cheese (my favorite thing ever) and talked to me like I was an adult. Actually, Aunt Louise was the first adult who didn’t treat me like a kid. I always loved going over to her house because she would let me watch TV and read her romance novels. Those were some FUN afternoons.
I’ve always admired Aunt Louise. She’s the definition of a strong and determined woman being several decades sober, thanks to AA meetings. She’s persevered through some serious health issues with her sense of humor firmly intact. Not to mention, she married my Uncle Bruce who is one of the sweetest men alive. When they got married, I told Mom “that man is going to make a perfect grandpa. He was born for it.” And he is! He adores their grandkids with such a sweet spirit.
So, here’s to Aunt Louise! Happy birthday! As Mom said, “You’re 59 years young and holding!”
This niece loves and admires you!