I'm soon traveling home to Mom and Dad's for an early birthday visit. Last year at this time. . .
MAY 2011 AT MY PARENTS' HOUSE, GOING ON MIDNIGHT:
MOM: (knocking on my bedroom door) Vally? You still awake?
VAL: Yeah. Come on in.
MOM: (looking sheepish) I just realized--We forgot to take pictures during your party tonight! Do you mind if we take some now?
VAL: Now? What--?! Mom, I'm in my pajamas! I already packed everything for the trip back tomorrow!
MOM: (looking sad) I know, but I really wanted pictures. Couldn't we just set it all up again real fast and I could take just a couple?
VAL: Are you serious?! What, do I have to get dressed again too? Are we going to re-wrap all the presents?!
MOM: (smiling) I can just set it up pretty. It'll only take a minute and then you can get back to bed.
VAL: (laughing and getting out of bed) You are crazy. Oh my goodness. (walking out into living room where my dad's still watching TV) Dad! Do you hear this? Did you hear what she wants me to do? Mom just got me out of bed so we can set up my birthday party again because she forgot to take pictures! She's crazy. (to Mom, who's already busy unpacking my bags and setting up the gift table) You're crazy! This is really nuts, Mom, even for you!
DAD: (not looking up from his baseball game) That sounds about right. Oh, now that I'm retired, you should see some of the oddball things she comes up with. . . . "Build this, Geno! Make me one of theeeeeeese. . . .Climb up on the roooooof, Geno. . . ."
MOM: (mumbling to herself as she bustles around the dining room table) I think if I just put a few napkins over the side of the cake, it won't look like we ate any of it.
DAD: (groans in the living room)
VAL: W-o-w. (resigning herself to the madness) Let me at least tie my hair up. . . .