The Best Birthday Ever...It seems way too many people have issues with birthdays. I have always accepted them for what they are 1) another year of experience and opportunity and 2) the day your mom did most of the work. So, I make a point of thanking my parents (especially mom) for bringing me into this world. And then I enjoy the day (usually at the beach!) with reflections of what has happened in the past year and ideas & dreams of what lies ahead.
This year started out no different (even though some consider THIS birthday a milestone) until I got the phone call. Some woman was telling my in Italian that a man was looking for me and she handed him the phone. My first thought was panic, "oh know what client has gotten lost?!" But as I waited for the man I realized I had no clients in Italy that day. The voice was familiar. It was Dad saying he was at the Holiday Inn at JFK airport. Seems he forgot the Italian woman who lended him her phone. And so the surprise was spoiled, or in my opinion has just begun!
Turns out a month ago, my parents called Luigi and said we're coming to Italy to surprise me for my birthday. From there, the three of them and my in-laws came up with a big birthday plan in which my parents were to arrive the day before my birthday, stay at my in-laws and then Lui and I would show up at my in-laws for a birthday brindisi (toast) only to be greeted by my parents. Problem was my father's plane was late missing the connection (and my mother!) from NYC to Pisa. And so after 24 hours of travel, missing planes and missing cars (poor Lui and his father drove all over Southern Liguria and NW Tuscany trying to find my dad), my dad used his last resource: a call to me, the day before the big surprise.
After one week of fun, too much food, not so great August weather, lots of "unofficial" tours and the usual parental/child head butting, I put my parents on a plane back to the states today with a twinge of sadness but mostly joy and relief. It had been 9 months since I last saw them and I had another 4 months to go before visiting them over Christmas. Now I've had my "Mommy and Daddy" fix (and vice versa and probably just enough for them!) and the fall will by. There is a certain sense of peace.
Grazie Mamma e Pa...vi voglio bene! XO
P.S. A gratuitous plug (because it's my blog and birthday anyway!), that is the view from my garden on the photo!