Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nanny is Ninety

Yesterday my husband's grandmother turned 90!
Affectionately known as Nanny by most of the family, she was the third born of eight children.
She has six children, 15 grandchildren and I don't even know how many great-grand children.
Last night we celebrated this wonderful lady's birthday.
Imagine sitting at the head of a table of a room full of 70ish people and knowing that most of them are in this world because of you.

And isn't it funny the names you're known by at different stages of your life?
We all call her Nanny.
Fewer people call her Mum.
A handful of her living friends and siblings call her Merle.
But apparently she was always known as Sis as a young girl.
We were told the true but cute story last night of when her father walked her down the aisle at her wedding and he had to ask, "Hey Sis, what's your name again?"

Going back to my home town always stirs my emotions.
Driving on roads I used to drive so often.
Seeing the schools and churches I used to attend.
And last night I was sitting in a room full of people I know better than my husband does from my school days.
A major high school crush was one of his cousins.
My first boyfriend was another cousin.
My best friend from high school married yet another cousin, who also happened to be my deb partner.
I think I was destined to become a part of this family.
And two generations earlier my great aunt married my husband's great uncle.
Making a whole family of my dad's cousins, cousins also of my mother-in-law.
I know, it all sounds incestuous but I can guarantee my husband and I are not related.
Well, I can't really guarantee it, there is a small possibility we may be related.
Both of our families go back quiet a few generations in the same town so I think it's probably safer not to go digging too deep!
It's more than a little crazy knowing my husband's family better than he does.
But that happens when you both grow up near the same small country town.

Last night was the first time we had taken both kids out to dinner.
And now I know why we don't do that very often!
It didn't turn out that bad, really.
At the obligatory family photo session there is always one crying, uncooperative child. At some point both of mine have been 'that' child
Last night it was my two year old.
It was so far past her bedtime and her balloon was stuck on the ceiling.
I don't blame her.

My husband's side are an affable family of jokesters, with a friendly jibe always at the ready on the tips of their tongues.
So many people there knew me as a child, so it seemed every time I turned around someone was telling me my daughter, when she was both shy or screaming, was just like me, or my sister.

The quote of the night was my husband's.
He turned to me during dinner and said, "The room is full of mini me's."

The speeches concluded with the hope that in ten years we'd all be back to celebrate Nanny's 100th birthday.
And, God willing, we will be.


  1. What a fantastic evening, Thea. Hope you can be there in 10 years for the big hundred.

  2. Ahhhhhh. So safe, to be able to revel in all those roots.

  3. sounds like it was fun in the end!
    me ... really ... crying ... screaming!?

  4. Sounds like such a great night. And happy birthday to Nanny!

    I'll admit I got very confused trying to sort out your family tree and hubby's family tree in my head. Very funny though! xx


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