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Living the military life, moving from one US duty station to another is challenging enough, now think of military life when your family and friends are not a quick domestic two or three hour flight away, but an international assortment of a painfully long 36-48 hour flight itinerary.
This logistical and incredibly expensive financial challenge has meant that, in the past eight years of this albeit exciting and amazing experience, I've missed a lot of special moments including birthday's, wedding's, baby shower's and, well you get the idea.
So, this year for my Step-mUm's birthday, rather than sing the usual off-pitch, tired 'Happy Birthday' via phone at some ungodly hour, I decided to throw her a surprise birthday party.
A pink birthday party in fact, complete with pink party hats, pinkish streamers and what else, pink cupcakes!
My husband thought I was crazy at first, adding his usual sweetly sarcastic comment: 'You're like a little Napoleon, running around ruling the world unless someone stops you'.
So this little Napoleon spent the evening before the party, baking, piping meringue mushrooms and decorating and finally when it came time to throw the surprise, demanding that we be dressed in pink and blue attire, my husband lit the candles and walked into the room with a tray of pretty pink cupcakes adorned with sweet meringue mushrooms and brightly glowing candles.
We yelled surprise and sang 'Happy Birthday', probably, actually most definitely out of tune, and after the candles were blown out, Alena offered a scratchy clarinet performance, Michael sang a song about dinosaurs, and like little pigs, we plucked out the candles and hogged into the cupcakes.
We celebrated my Step-mUm's birthday just as it should be celebrated...if we were there?
Happy Birthday Charleene!
You are truly a beautiful person inside and out, and it's only now as a mUm and a Step-mUm do I realize just how much energy it takes to not just be both, but be both equally. Thank you!
I hope you enjoyed your party, however next year, although I can't promise you that we'll be home, I can promise you an off-key rendition of 'Happy Birthday', a song about dinosaurs and of course...cupcakes.