Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Forgotten birthday

Today was my father-in-law's birthday, and we completely forgot. It's just another stupid thing I've done this week. I can't keep anything straight and keep making the dumbest mistakes. I don't remember being this flaky when I was pregnant with Bird. Maybe I should check my archives.

I teach on Wednesday afternoons, getting done at 5:30. Tonight, I finished up and asked Papa if he was going to stay for dinner. He said he would if he was invited. Of course he was. He had picked Lovely up from school and brought her home. Then the two of them were helping with Bird while I finished teaching. Dinner was the least I could do. Except that I had completely forgotten that he eats with us every other Wednesday, and had only thawed two chicken breasts for dinner.

Luckily, while Papa and Bird were in the other room, Lovely said quietly to me, "Did you know today is Papa's birthday?"

Oh, crap. I had forgotten. Totally forgotten. I started to cry. It's my job to remember these things, and if we don't celebrate Papa's birthday, then who will? I felt awful.

Here's where I got creative. Perhaps I should have just told him that I forgot both dinner and his birthday and moved on, but I just couldn't. I cut the chicken into tenderloins so that it could be shared by all of us. I pulled the turnips from last week and this week's CSA delivery and roasted them all. I tossed in some of the green onions, and steamed the greens from the turnips to bed it all on. Then, just in case, I heated up some English peas, because I didn't think Papa liked greens very much. While all of that was going, I made a chocolate chip pound cake, but poured it in a sheet cake pan so it would bake faster.

After everything in the kitchen was put together and the table set, I ran upstairs and raided the stocking stuffers I had already bought for him. I pulled the movie that was supposed to go in his stocking and wrapped it for his birthday instead. I can always buy another movie before Christmas. I put it on the table in front of his place.

A phone call to Kevin while he was commuting home served as a warning that we had forgotten Papa's birthday, but don't let on.

We sang to him. Even Bird helped out by wishing him, "Happy DAY! Happy DAY cake!!!" He opened his present. Then we said good night and bid farewell.

I'm too chicken to ask him if he could tell we forgot. I hope that he didn't. Because forgetting his birthday is not how we really feel about him. You don't forget the birthdays of people you love. And we love our Papa.

Next year I'll make it up to him. I hope.