Last Friday was a big day in our house, because my Mum turned 90 years old. It is a grand old age, and despite her enjoyment of moaning, she is in good mental health, even if her body causes her problems.
Hubby and I had been thinking what to do for the day, and were at a loss to know what she would enjoy. What do you do for an old lady who has no friends in the area, and no connections outside of the house? Also what do you buy for someone of that advanced age that they will actually use?
The boys were involved in trying to come up with ideas, but I don’t think she would have enjoyed going to soft play or the arcade! They did however ask if they could have the day off school. I said yes, because I think it is hugely important that the younger generations interact with the older ones. I was the same age as D is now when the only Grandparent I knew died, and when I heard other kids talking about things they had done with theirs, I was jealous. I therefore think to have a day when the boys made a special effort to spend time with and look after their Granny was something that will stay with them. I put notes to both teachers and it was accepted they would be off that day.
The date of her birthday was also the date of the MacMillian coffee morning. I have done a coffee morning for the past few years, it is a great excuse for the Mums to get together for a cuppa and a gossip, all under the excuse we are doing our bit for charity. I however decided that having the event on a day when it needed to be about my Mum was wrong. I did however think it would be nice to have a few of the ladies she knows come in and see her.
The plans for the day were set!
A huge pile of cards had arrived in the post the few days before, and I had put them to one side so she could have them all on Friday.
Hubby had changed his working from home day to Friday, so he could be part of the celebrations.
The boys were up usual time, but were persuaded to let Granny have a bit of a lay in, after all, it must be tiring to turn 90! Eventually, D could wait no more, and made her a cup of tea which he took up to her with a biscuit – he had wanted to make her bacon and eggs, but she doesn’t like breakfast in bed as she thinks its like being in hospital!
When she came down, the boys were so excited, and had to be reminded to give a bit of space, both physically and mentally! Before she could get settled, D pinned a badge onto her announcing her age! They helped her open her presents and cards. We had given her a heat pad that goes around her shoulders like a cape, fastening at the front – she has a stiff shoulder and is always cold so seemed a sensible present. We also gave her a stand for her tablet. She maybe 90 now, but she loves playing games on her tablet, however with her hands suffering with arthritis, she sometimes has difficulty holding it for long, and her toes are getting sore from every time she drops it on them! The stand is brilliant, it is like a microphone stand but the tablet clips into the top and can be adjusted by height and angle. I think she will find this a great help. She also had the obligatory PJ’s and socks – no gift giving celebration would be complete without one other or both!!!
I had told the Mums of the boys that D walks to school with that he wouldn’t be going, and so was surprised when one of his chums turned up at the time they meet. He said he knew D wasn’t going but wanted to wish his Granny a Happy Birthday – such a lovely gesture. Mum was totally taken a back by the kindness and politeness of the young lad, and invited him to come back after school for some birthday cake!
The weather was beautiful – she says it always is on her birthday and actually the year she was born there was a heatwave at this time of year! The boys were treating her to lunch and so we decided to go down to Stonehaven and have a walk along the front to enjoy the fresh air first. We left Hubby at home working.
D insisted on pushing her, but had to be reminded to stop running on a few occasions – she looked petrified! It was lovely seeing the boys chatting with her, and just taking the time to interact with her – lets face it, in a usual day everyone is so busy with their own stuff they do sometimes forget to step back and just be with people. As the weather was so lovely, it was decided to get something we could eat by the beach, and so it was Subway that the boys chose – to some that might not seem a very special food, but the boys were paying and they knew Granny liked it. She was more than happy with that idea. We sat looking out to sea – the view across the bay at Stonehaven is beautiful. The boys were really attentive while we ate.
The boys then wanted to go to the sweetie shop near where we had parked to buy Granny some clove rock – her favourite. It was then time to head back home.
When we got back some of the ladies had already arrived, and I think it was a bit of a shock to Mum to see them there, all wishing her a Happy Birthday. The boys went and had some down time while they could. The ladies were really kind to her, giving her cards and flowers and sweeties. Our next door neighbour popped in, and Hubbys Mum came over. Hubbys Mum had bought her a subscription to the magazine that she reads each week, which is really a perfect present. We all drank coffee and ate cake and nattered for a couple of hours – until school run time when kids need to be collected.
A couple of D’s friends popped in after school to wish her a Happy Birthday – and to get cake! Whatever their motivation, it does show that not all of the younger generation is thoughtless.
Hubbys Mum stayed for tea. We had thought about going out, but Mum isn’t the biggest eater, so it isn’t really the best option, so instead we ordered curry, which is her favourite take-away – I think because you can pick at various bits rather than have a plate full of the one thing. It was a lovely chilled evening, and the boys even let her choose which movie to put on – Friday night is always movie night in our house – she chose The Minion movie as its her favourite one of the boys DVDs!
When she went up to bed, she thanked us for a lovely day, and I think she had genuinely enjoyed herself. It had been lovely to see how attentive the boys were with her, and I am glad they had stayed home from school. D did however tell her not to expect the same level of devotion until her 100th! It was also kind of my friends to make her feel special during the afternoon.
If we are lucky, we will get to this grand old age, but it is not a definite so it is a time to celebrate.