NINETY-NINE

WE CELEBRATED MY UNCLE'S BIRTHDAY THIS AFTERNOON.  It was a significant birthday - one of the ones that ends in a zero.  Let's just call it 50 - for the purpose of this post.  We gathered, as Napans often do, at a restaurant.  The Husband, who is always VERY busy on Sundays was unable to attend, so I tagged along with The Parentals.  

It is always fun to gather with my family.  We spend a good deal of time laughing -- as long as we stay away from politics or intense religious discussions.  We toasted my Uncle, who is a wonderful human and ate ourselves silly.  It was a nice afternoon - despite the deluge of rain.  Every person there brought him books - which just goes to show that we are all related and/or predictable.  

My mother and my Uncle grew up with PILES of cousins and aunts and uncles.  They talk about running wild through Indiana as whole cousin gang.  My sister and I did not have that.  We have just two cousins on my mother's side of the family, and although we had a ton more cousins on my father's side, most holidays were spent with my mother's family.  

We were three girls and one boy and my grandparents always bought each of us two Christmas presents.  All the girls would have the same things - just in different colors and the lone boy cousin would get something totally different.  My sister, cousin and I all have the same memory - opening Christmas presents at Grandma's with our heads down -- so as not to accidentally see your cousin open theirs and thus ruin the surprise.

My Uncle is a sweetheart who deserves to be celebrated.  He is kind and generous.  He takes The Boy golfing from time to time, and has been to TONS of my husband's shows.  The first time The Husband's band got local radio play - my Uncle texted me to let me know.  He is the definition of supportive.

I wonder sometimes, how it is that some humans grow up so kind, generous and good.  I want to instill that same generosity in my own Offspring, and want to teach them what it looks like to be supportive of those around you.  I'll never forget showing up to one of the Husband's early shows, and finding my Uncle already there.  It doesn't hurt that he seems to truly enjoy the Husband's music, but I also get the feeling it wouldn't matter if he didn't.  He'd still come to a show.  He is the kind of person who recognizes what other people value, and honors that.  

I hope that when I grow to the ripe old age of fifty, the same can be said of me.  I hope that others will say of me, "She's always so supportive.  I always knew she was in my corner."  I am fortunate in family.  I have good, loving parents, supportive Uncles and Aunts, and cousins.  We may not get together as often as we like -- we are all crazy busy people, but when we do -- it is always a celebration, and we are happy to be once again in the same space as a family.