Once upon a time, a little boy invited all his friends in his neighbourhood to come to his house on his birthday. The date was set and his friends promised to come.
The day of the event rolled around. All of the children from the neighbourhood arrived at the allotted time, dressed for a party with gifts in hand.
The only problem was, it wasn’t the little boy’s birthday at all. And he hadn’t told his parents about his guests. His mother, mortified, sent the children home. With their presents.
This took place approximately 70 years ago.
Last week, First Born Son came home told and told me about a conversation he had with the young son of a family friend. His birthday was coming up and he wanted to invite FBS to his party.
“You can bring your Mom too!” he stated, and FBS recounted with a laugh.
Touched by the young man’s thoughtfulness, and chuckling over his precociousness, I headed out to find the perfect gift. Two John Deere T shirts for a “hard working” young man.
Although FBS couldn’t join me due to his work schedule, I took the gift to the wee lad’s house. There was no party. His parents weren’t even home from work. His grandmother, who is a caregiver for him and his older sister, was taken aback to when she came to the door. The boy and his sister were delighted to see me, and he gleefully took the gift and shredded the colourful paper. The grandmother sputtered appreciation for the gift, how kind the gesture was, how unexpected, how her daughter and son-in-law would be surprised to learn their son, the birthday boy, had made such a bold invitation.
This boy’s birthday was June 10.
The first story is about my father. His birthday was June 9.
Although it’s been two years since he passed, I found it somewhat comforting that this story, that he told us many times, came to me in the moment that I realized that I was invited to a party that wasn’t happening; for a young man who just wanted to have some people over to celebrate.
Happy Birthday Duddy!