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From the Farm

Happy Birthday to me

June 24, 2011
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

Wednesday was my birthday. Russell had big plans for this important day. He figured we should go to Disney World.

Instead of Disney World, we chose to go out for supper and then out for dessert at the one and only Dairy Queen for a Blizzard.

I think my birthday is a big deal, which is why I was somewhat disappointed Tuesday evening while I was trying to convince our oldest son to work for me the following morning. I like to act like a princess on my birthday, which means I shouldn't have to go anywhere near manure. Joey was adamant he wasn't going to allow me to be spoiled. My princess fingernails (excluding the black one) would have to take a beating.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

I wrote it up as no big deal. I would go out to milk, finish all my chores and come in to spend the rest of the day doing whatever shook my fancy.

Wednesday morning I walked out the front door of the house and noticed an employee's vehicle sitting in its regular parking spot near the feed shed.

Could this be? Am I actually not on the schedule to milk this morning?

I kind of figured my name wasn't in the designated spot before I even glanced at the work schedule. Steve was sitting on the "office chair" in the milk house with a smirky grin on his face.

Nope, my name did not appear at the top of the block designating the morning of June 22. How could I not remember? I make up the milking schedule?

"Wow, I don't have to milk this morning," I mumbled. "Guess I am going to go back to the bed."

"Do you think you will actually get back to sleep?" asked Mr. I'm-wide-awake-at-5 a.m. Hoffman, without any evidence of a fading grin.

"Oh, that won't be a problem at all," I retorted.

Sure enough, without any problem, I slept until 8 a.m.

Birthdays are fun around our house.

Russell always has to get into the action.

"Today is a special day," he excitedly said as he walked into my office after morning chores. "I have a baseball game. I don't think there is anything else that is special today, is there?"

I pretended to not understand and quickly agreed to his previous statement about the canceled VFW Gold game.

He laughed and gave me one of his best bear-hugs ever. Believe me, a bear hug from a 15-year-old son is something a mother cherishes until the next time. It could be several days or weeks before I get another great-big bear-hug from that son or at least until he thinks he "needs" some new piece of sporting equipment or special food.

When Joey finally hauled his 17-year-old butt out of bed, and dragged his long, lanky body downstairs. I was already enjoying my bowl of Rice Krispies and cup of coffee, while sitting on the kitchen counter. He immediately wished me a Happy Birthday.

From Joey I received a pseudo-hug. He's not much of a "bear hugger;" he's more of a butterfly-hug person. He tends to just barely put his arms around his mother so that I can slightly feel them. I have to beg, "Come on give me a decent hug."

But it's the hug that counts, and I will cherish the butterfly hug until the day I get another one.

Steve takes a different approach. Sure I received my suggestive hug and a birthday kiss, but then he decides that birthdays mean it's a great day to give a person grief. He told me my legs, "were fairly smooth and that they have been a lot worse," as he touched them while I was still on the counter. (He does often say, "Why do we have chairs in this house?")

Birthdays are special around here. We get to chose whatever we want to do, and the rest of the clan has to go along with it. We share laughs and hugs and give each other bear or butterfly hugs. Just think, I am only 27 and I have a lot more to go!

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