We are all ready to sing Happy Birthday to Young Morgan (in absentia, of course) when the Birthday Boy’s father notices something amiss.
“James!” he hollers, “You’ve put Mama and Bampi down on the table - pick them up! At once!”
I can tell you are feeling
in need an explanation, or, possibly several explanations. Morgan’s Mama and Bampi (the lovely Welsh versions of Gran and Grandad) have connected up via FaceTime to witness the Cake Ceremony on one IPad while Mr B and I are similarly FaceTiming in on
a second IPad. We can see each other but can’t communicate apart from by waves, smiles and thumbs up gestures. (“I think they want to chat...” comments Morgan.) We - or rather the iPad on which we are pictured - is being held by our son but
Mamma and Bampi have been entrusted to middle son, James, who in all the excitement has put his iPad down on the dining room table thus leaving his maternal grandparents presumably staring up at the ceiling.
I do love it when this kind of thing happens. It makes the event all the more memorable, if you know what I mean. Mind you, I might not be saying that had it been Mr B and me flat on the table, looking up at the ceiling lights.
I do remember another of Morgan’s birthdays where we were preparing to watch the youngest of the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys open a rather large parcel. The Darling Daughter in Law and I had our cameras ready to record the happy scene, as did Sam
(the Eldest) and James (the Middle) brother. At which point the Birthday Boy trotted off to find his My First Camera. So there we all were, cameras trained on the parcel - but with nobody to open it. It was one of those classic, never to be forgotten, moments.
I don’t think I have ever missed one of Morgan’s birthdays. I might not always have been there on the day itself, I might have missed the actual party - but every
year I was around for at least some of the celebrations. One year I met the family at Legoland for the day; it was supposed to be a surprise but Morgan, five years old at the time, didn’t seem at all amazed to see me turn up - it was almost as if he
expected me. Last year we visited Build a Bear and indulged in Delicious Delights at one of those establishments that are growing in popularity these days and which, in my day, we used to call an Ice Cream Parlour. I have fond memories of all the truly splendid
birthday cakes fashioned by Morgan’s mother and of making sandwiches a-plenty for birthday parties in the Scout Hut, just along the road from his home.
from my sandwich-making skills (I always need to be instructed whether to cut the sandwiches into fingers, squares or triangles) I like to make myself useful at children’s parties by making cups of tea and coffee for the adult guests. I learnt this from
Mr B’s Little Bruv who always makes himself similarly useful at such gatherings. It has the not-to-be-underestimated benefit of helping me to get to know my children’s friends and the parents of my grandchildren’s friends and I would highly
recommend it to others. Mind you, there have been occasions when other guests have taken it upon themselves to be on Kitchen Duty which never goes down too well with me. I always feel challenged on my tea-making skills when my handling of the cups and saucers
comes under scrutiny...
Despite it being a Lockdown Birthday I think it’s fair to say that Morgan enjoyed his birthday. He made his own American pancakes
for breakfast leading his Grandad, when I showed him the pictures, to demand pancakes for his lunch. Fortunately by the time lunchtime came round he had forgotten all about it which, given the current flour shortage, was just as well.
Oh, yes, the Cake Ceremony. Eight flaming candles atop a deliciously chocolatey cake. Among them several of those candles which can’t be blown out - no sooner have they been
extinguished by a fearsome blow than they flare up again irrepressibly. It was even funnier because (I gather) the candles in question were on the cake by happenstance rather than by intention.
My lovely boy, I am so very glad to witness, albeit at a distance, that not even a Lockdown could put a dampener on your irrepressible Happy Birthday celebrations.
And next year - all being well - I WILL be there...