Our brief trip to the states for a medical test was designed to coincide with Thanksgiving and my mother’s 83rd birthday. And I am so glad that it did.
We haven’t spent Thanksgiving with relatives in Ohio in 11 years…more on that at a later time…and 2001 was the last time we spent my mother’s birthday with her.
We spent the morning at the Cincinnati Zoo because she desperately wanted to see Lulu, the baby giraffe. She willingly wore her birthday girl button and even the zoo’s button announcing her birthday. We viewed that little (?!) giraffe from several locations and Mom was grinning ear to ear. I must say that I was engaged as well as we watched the mother taking care of her new arrival.
And then we began the search for the penguins — Milan’s favorites. Much like his Poppy. When we did finally discover that they were located at the end of the Wings display, it was so worth the hunt! Milan just couldn’t believe that he was seeing so many penguins…all different types. They were behind glass and up on an icy slope with a large pool of water for them to dive into. Milan was at eye level for a dive. Well, he was so excited that he stood on the one step up and announced to everyone who entered the room that these were penguins. We chuckled and nodded our heads in agreement as we noticed the other adults dutifully nodding their heads as well. He wanted to be sure that EVERYONE knew what they were seeing. One gentleman remarked that the little boy’s head would likely explode if one of the penguins dived into the pool. But not one did. Truly I would have loved to have seen Milan’s response. Ah, to be two years old!
Following our zoo escapade — on the coldest day of the year thus far — we met my sister, her husband, and his mother for a delicious Italian lunch. Remind me again why we chose a restaurant located at a mall on Black Friday?! Oh, yeah, excellent food. And you can’t change the date of the birthday.
We arrived early though we were guaranteed a close parking spot — Mom travels by wheelchair now and we park in handicap spots so that we can let the ramp down on the side of the van. Easy entrance, easy exit.
While waiting for our table to be prepared — they wouldn’t let us sit at it until all of the folks had arrived — we presented Mom with her birthday girl tiara. Yep, a good sport.
What fun that they put candles in the lemon cookies so that Mom could blow them out. She handled being the center of attention pretty well!
When we took her back to the assisted living home, we let the staff know that she should be exhausted. We returned her close to 4:00 which is when she is USUALLY awakening from an afternoon nap. She hit the sack…and while she was sleeping, the birthday elves were busy decorating her living room. But that’s another post, for another day.