The age span between the oldest member of our family and the youngest is eighty-nine years. As a family, our four generations span nearly a century, with birth years ranging from 1924 to 2013.
My mom turns 90 on Saturday, marking the beginning of her tenth decade on this earth. Just a couple weeks ago, little Heero, pretty well the only baby we have left after seven-plus years of rather rapid-fire grandkid production, blew out the single candle on his Old MacDonald cake.
The past two weekends, in a flurry of November pre-Thanksgiving celebrations, various components of our family have hosted two landmark birthday parties, a 90th and a first. Both were loving expressions of our gratitude for these two special family members, the oldest and the youngest, the temporal bookends between which all the rest of us fall.
Below, you see the guests of honor in a photo taken the day after Heero was born:
Of the two, of course, Heero has changed the most:
He is running around everywhere and doing some serious jabbering, much of it consisting of "bah"--which might mean ball or bottle or what a sheep says. Change the vowel sound to oo, and you have a pretty close approximation to cow language. It has been fun to watch what could be our last baby grow a personality and toddle along in the footsteps of his brother and cousins.
With Thanksgiving just a week away, I give thanks for the added blessings of this particular November: the long, healthy life of my mother and the year-ago arrival of this disarmingly charming little boy who came along in his own time, a couple years before the master plan dictated.
A week from tomorrow we will gather once again for Thanksgiving Friday. Framed by our two special bookends, we will once again unwrap the gracious gift of family and, I'm sure, find there many, many more reasons to celebrate.