My granddaughter, Alexandria, is turning five, and her birthday party is a week from tomorrow. My oldest son, Allie's uncle, asked me last night if I was going to remember to come to the party. Forget one birthday party, and you are living it down for the rest of your life!
A year ago last February, I missed Allie's brother's birthday party. I didn't forget Nick's birthday, I just got the party day confused; I could have sworn that invitation said Sunday! Saturday, the day before the party (which was the day of the party, but I didn't know!), my husband and I decided to take a drive to a restaurant in New Hampshire called "The Smokehouse" for some BBQ'd ribs. It was one of those crisp winter days when the sun is bright, the sky is blue, and the trees are sporting their sparkling snow hats--a perfect day to escape cabin fever, which can be quite debilitating during winter in Maine.
So, totally oblivious to the party preparations underway at my son's house, Hubby and I jumped (okay, maybe we didn't exactly jump, but we tossed his cane in the back seat and climbed) into my Chevy and headed for the hills--literally. New Hampshire is known for it's White Mountains.
We meandered leisurely up and down the winding roads, anticipating the juicy ribs, the moist corn bread, and the bubbling baked beans, totally unaware of the panic we were creating behind us. The party time arrived and passed, and we were no-shows. My sons and their wives knew we wouldn't just 'blow off" a grandkid's birthday party, so they began to worry. First they called our house, and of course, we weren't home, so they thought we must be on our way. Then they called my cell phone. New Hampshire's mountainous terrain is notorious for "dead" zones where there is no cell phone coverage, so they were unable to reach us.
While we were pigging out on pig ribs, the kids were freaking out. They called my sister in a panic, certain something horrible had happened to us. We, totally unaware of the chaos about us, calmly finished lunch, and started home. When at last we were back within cell range, my sister was able to reach us and alert us to my error. Of course I was devastated that I had missed my grandson's birthday, and we delivered our presents for him the very next day along with profuse apologies.
Because of that mix up, every birthday or holiday since, my sons call me and remind me of the upcoming festivities and make certain to get in a dig about my age, declining memory, and make not so subtle hints about Alzheimer's testing.