My Mumsy


Melissa Stagnaro

Sometimes, when our parents tell us not to do things, we nod and pledge our allegiance to adhere to their will. Even though we know darn well that we’re going to go right out and do it anyway.

That’s pretty much what I did, when my mother told me in no uncertain terms that she did not want any kind of birthday celebration this year. Sure, Mom, no problem, I said. We won’t do anything special.

Good thing I had my fingers crossed, because the next item on my to-do list was to plan her birthday shindig. As soon as our conversation was over, I promptly picked up the phone and began dialing up a few of my parent’s closest friends.

It crossed my mind as I planned the event, that it might be fun to keep it a surprise. But I figured it would be difficult to explain why I was roasting a 10 lb pork roast for just the three of us.

Regardless of her protestations to the contrary (and boy, did she protest when I unveiled my master plan), I knew she would enjoy herself. And she did. We all did, thanks to the wonderful company, the freely-flowing champagne and the mouthwatering dinner – which I somehow managed to prepare despite the aforementioned bubbly.

Why did I insist on the birthday party? Because my Mumsy deserved it. With her birthday falling just a few days before Christmas, she’s gotten short changed far too often. And since she was always the one to plan our celebrations, there wasn’t anyone to really take the lead on hers.

Our birthdays would be feted with plenty of gaily wrapped presents, our favorite meal and usually a gathering of friends. She, on the other hand, would end up with a few last minute gifts, hastily wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper, and one of those Pepperidge Farm frozen layer cakes.

And that was if she was lucky!

Far too often she would fall victim to my father’s unique brand of gift giving. Where he would buy something for himself, and say it was for her Like the year he bought her a pair of skeet guns. It probably goes without saying that my mother is not the member of our family who was into skeet at the time.

My personal favorite was the I called home from Colorado to find he had tried to pass off a four wheeler and a wood splitter as her birthday gift.

When, during hunting season, my father was lamenting the untimely demise of that four wheeler, I reminded him that mom’s birthday was coming up. Let’s just say my mother’s reaction to this helpful suggestion wasn’t suitable for print.

But I think you can get an idea why this year I thought it was high time to raise the bar on her celebration, hence the little dinner party. After putting up with us for all of these years, my Mumsy deserves the very best.

We celebrated a couple of days early, but today is actually “the day.” So, if you see her, make sure to wish her a happy birthday.

How old is she, you ask? Why 49 and holding, of course.

I love you, Mumsy. Happy Birthday.

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