Happy Birthday

It's summer time and the living is easy, about forty people and two dogs are expected on the swake for the sisters' birthday celebration tonight.  You know the drill, the house is clean and the beds are made.  Kanti has been given a talking to about behaving and not jumping on the guests or their vehicles.  Greg got on one knee and had that talk with her last week.  He didn't even get on one knee when he proposed to me.  But Kanti holds a special place in his heart and I'm okay with that, and we will need her to play her part tonight.

Tonight Kanti will be my example of how to navigate the terrain of the family event that brings disparate people together simply because they share genetics and history from the formative years of their lives.  Kanti will be the comic relief that is sometimes needed when relationships have been strained.  She will provide a distraction if things get awkward, like when the uncle berates you for putting polish on your toes.  Several of us have joined together and decided to all paint our toenails with the most unnatural colors we can find just to get a rise out of that uncle.  

Kanti will offer up unending love and affection all evening despite the individual quirkiness that relatives sometimes bring with them into these kinds of gatherings.  She will remind us to just love each other and she will do that consistently with the person who loves her the least by dropping her bone or frisbee in their lap to share her prize.  Kanti will demonstrate in doggy fashion how to be the best guest at the party and make everyone else feel special.

I'm excited, and I know Grandma's excited about the party she is sharing with her sisters for their milestone birthdays.  Grandma is so excited that one day this week she sent text messages to my land line at the office, text messages to my mobile phone, and voice messages to my phone, all within an hour.  Then because I was unable to respond quickly enough she called again and this time I was in the midst of pulling off the messages that had been left on every device and formulating a response.  It just struck me that Grandma shares that dogged determination with her granddaughter because it is exactly what Chotz would do if she was wanting an answer on a burning issue.  Funny how the genetics reveal themselves across the generations.

This evening is about celebrating the generations that three sisters have lived and enjoying the families they have created and loved.  If in the midst of the family dynamics I forget at any moment how to celebrate, I am going to look for Kanti and be reminded of the unconditional love that we all need and I will try my best to behave like Kanti and make each and every guest feel special.  Happy Birthday to the sisters!