So today was the big 55th birthday for my Dad. We celebrated at a small, quaint banquet hall, about 85 of us, and it was a very fun, early evening (which, after late night last night, was a part of what made it fun). The dinner was great, dessert (I assume) was delicious, but as you know, I’ve been pretty good with my nutrition and decided to skip the sweets. And as I mentioned yesterday, the entertainment was a lot of fun because it was my brother and his girlfriend alongside Arlene Paculan and myself playing a couple of Motown hits as a full band for my Dad. (He loves his Motown.)
I love doing events like this, mainly because it’s family and if you’ve been keeping up, you know how strong of a connection I have with them. But there’s two elements that I realized today that I really enjoy. The first, of course, is family. (See yesterday’s post for more on that.) The second is the actual setup of the event. I was in charge of the entertainment and music for the evening, so that meant turning a bare dance floor into a stage for a band. I’ve done this many, many times in the past, but today I realized, looking at it all, that this was a setup completely done by me. My brother and my Mom helped by acquiring equipment to bring to the venue, and my brother and his girlfriend assembled her drum kit, but I pieced it all together and made sure everything worked, pretty much on my own. Again, I’ve done this many times before, but for the first time I actually stepped back and thought to myself, “wow, this is what I can do.” This isn’t to boost my ego, and this doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a complete team effort when it comes to events like this, but it’s just a nice realization of the fact that I can do things like this like it’s second nature, and that I’ve come this far and learned so much over the years to get here. It was a nice little moment.
And when it comes to family, well that’s pretty much the best part of it all. It’s so rejuvenating and fun to be in a room with so many people that you get along with and trust. What really stood out to me, though, was the clear growth of the family and the many first-time connections with the next generation kids of the family. Of course I was ecstatic to see my littlest best friend, my little niece, as I love her to pieces, but I got to meet my cousins’ new babies and see how much some of their kids have already grown up. My favourite part about that all is that the trust was there, even though it was the first time meeting. It’s like they knew that I was family, even though they never really see me at all. It was such an amazing experience, and the bonus of it all is seeing them all play together. I was immediately brought back to the days when I was playing with my cousins at that age, and the cycle of it all had never seemed so clear than in that moment. Beautiful.
Happy birthday, Dad. Without you, none of this that I’m writing would have ever come to exist. I hope that I can continue to make connections like you have as I experience more and more of this life. Thanks for the great party.