In our family every birthday is a special birthday because every person is special, even the big kids. I know birthdays and Christmas are suppose to be for kids but I have this thing about celebrating the good times. I think I've past that on to my kids and now to the boys.
Saturday was Jenna's birthday and she told the boys all she wanted for her birthday was for them to pick a restaurant and they would go out to dinner together. I thought it sounded like a lovely plan but a bit boring...so, in private, I got the boys together and we made a plan. Oh my gosh they were excited. What we came up with, at the end of the day, was a birthday adventure. After checking in with Jenna and being sure that she would have the time, we started plotting.
Here's how it went. We were going to take her on a train ride into Boston, have dinner at a nice pizza restaurant and a few other surprises which you will see as we move along. Jim made the blank cards, a different color for each step of the trip, Liam did all the writing and found the right words to describe where we were going and then Jaxson...well he covered his ears with his hands and closed his eyes and stated "I don't want to know nothing about this party because I'm not good at keeping secrets" and he promptly left the room. That was probably wise on his part...but I did tell him again when he was leaving, shish, don't tell Mommy and he said he wouldn't.
Saturday came and the weather couldn't have been better...after karate and flag football, Liam gave his Mom the first envelope...she was super excited.. "we are going on a mystery birthday ride...be at the train station by 3p.m and don't be late. When they got to the station she got card #2..there will be a mystery guest waiting on the platform...that was me hiding behind a pole...everyone was in gales of laughter when I popped out and of course Jenna was very surprised...hmmm. "Where's Papa" everyone wanted to know. "Oh, I'm sorry he couldn't make it, something came up." Then we were off..."next stop, Beverly" came the conductors call. Then all of a sudden there was Papa walking up the aisle. More laughter. He left his car in Beverly so we could catch the later train home...and now we were really off for our birthday celebration and everyone was happy. The boys were super excited about their cards.
After arriving in Boston Jaxson was very excited to give her card #3 which said..we are taking you to a restaurant where you are going to love the food. First, we had to walk to get there. Jenna was so much fun, being so surprised and patient reading her notes and of course she knew where she was (In the North End) but she had no idea where we were going, so in a very real sense, she was surprised. Me, just hanging in the back enjoying the kids...all of them.
So this is where the birthday day dinner took place...one of the best pizza places in the North End...and I called and got us a window seat. Jenna love's Italian so I knew we could not go wrong here and the people watching from our seats was wonderful at keeping the boys busy. After a lovely dinner Jaxson gave her card #4. We are taking you to a shop that you will love the smell of...now that's intriguing..
Hard to believe with all the times I have gone to Polcari's Coffee and Tea shop on Salem St. in the North End, and all the times I have brought home tea to her, she had never been there. She fell in love with it's aroma's and spices and ground coffee, which she purchased for herself. The shop also has an old fashion Dickens kind of look and feel to it and she got to meet my friend Bobby, the owner. The boys got an old fashion lemon slush, and she also got another card, #5. Your birthday cake is waiting down the street...and we were off again...
So good. Most everyone goes to Mike's pastry but Modern is the best and it has lovely tables for sitting at. Both have slightly different sweets so if your like me, I go to both and then I go to Bova's on Salem St...for the coconut cake and the people. Friendliest bakery in the North End is Bova's but no tables for sitting. . So Liam is delighted to have gotten to pick this box of goodies out and now he takes it to the table to share with his family...Lots of good treats in there. I liked the carrot cake the best. Jenna liked the lemon square and the boys both had cupcakes. Jim had some rum thing...but I didn't know the name of it...I think it's time for another walk. Oh, Jenna opened her presents here.
Time for card number #6...one last place to visit...but before we go there, Jenna just wanted one nice photo of her and the boys...this is what we got. I actually like this better than a posed shot...because this is how the three of them usually are..They giggled like crazy over the silliest things. It is such a joy to watch. Card #6, a visit to a new place that has lots of good things.
One last try before we crossed the street to the new market place in Haymarket...Jenna had not been there yet and it was on the way back to the train...As you can see the boys were fading, from all the walking and yummy food. This is the best we could do on this day. So a walk through the market and then back to North Station to catch the train home..
It was such a lovely day...my favorite kind of day. Jenna is such a great Mom and the boys love her to pieces. Her greatest gift is her kindness to all of us...she is my daughter but she is also my friend. She makes me laugh and she fills my life with good times, great kids and occasionally she gives me a run for my money...she always has. Today was her day and I know she went home tired but also happy....and there was one more envelope that the boys gave her on the train ride back...card #7, written on the inside..in second grade print...Happy Birthday Mommy...we hope you had fun on your birthday. We love you...Liam and Jaxson. I'm pretty sure she will be saving those cards...I know I would..and just so you know, Jaxson kept the secret...is that another sign of him growing up.
Happy Birthday baby girl...I love you....Mom
All of the above photo's were taken with the I-Phone 7 plus...
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Eleanor Roosevelt