zird is the word (lizardek) wrote,
zird is the word
lizardek

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FILLING THE YEAR

In Sweden, the phrase for having a birthday is "fyller år" which literally means "filling the year". In Swedish, you don't turn 100, you fill it. The word birthday is the same in both languages; födelsedagen. In my family, we have a pile of birthdays in March (Sarah, John, Simone, Bryce) and a pile in the summer, mostly in July with mine lagging in early August (my grandmother, my mom and dad (same day), me, Sammy, Karin) and another group in December (Danely, Martin, Jakob). My sister's husband Tom, and Anders, are the odd men out, with birthdays in January and May, respectively.

Birthdays were a big part of our summer celebration, obviously, and not only because my grandmother was turning 100. This past year, my sister hit 50 (birthdays are violent in English) and my mom 75. I can still remember the year we celebrated milestone birthdays for 4 generations when it was my MOM who was hitting 50 and my grandmother 75. That year Sarah turned 25 and my great-grandmother was the one turning 100! They are all 25 years apart; pretty cool!

First up was Karin, who turned 17 on July 13. Sarah managed to bake and ice a cake in 90-degree heat. I drew a picture of an Adidas shoe on the cake (because Karin LOVES shoes) and Sarah decorated it with red, blue and black details, and then wrote Happy Birthday to Shoe! on the top. Her big present was 2 tickets to the Rihanna Anti-World Concert Tour.

karin_cake.jpg

karin_bday_tickets.jpg

Then it was Sammy's turn to turn: 5 years old on July 20! Jakob was very interested in helping open the presents. Sammy loves superheroes, and Simone decorated his cake to look like Captain America's shield. From us he got a Sweden soccer ball and a new Pettsson & Findus book.

sammy_bag.jpg

sammy_book.jpg

My grandmother's birthday fell on the last day of the family reunion weekend, July 24. She was born in 1916. Imagine! World War I was only halfway over; Woodrow Wilson was president. She has seen 17 presidents in office; I hope she lives to see a woman as the 18th!

grandma_joanne_100.jpg

grandma_100_queen.jpg

Video of my grandmother reciting poetry from memory, on her 100th birthday (I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth)

The day we left for New York to start our trip home to Sweden, was my mom's birthday: 75 on July 28. Since we had to leave quite early, we celebrated her birthday and gave her presents the evening before. Sammy and Jakob helped out. :)

mom_boys_75.jpg

mom_sammy_laugh.jpg

And today, it's my turn to turn, hit, fill the year. It's not a big birthday, it's just a birthday. I was woken by my family with song and flowers and given presents I had asked for and one I didn't expect at all: tickets to see Elton John in concert! I worked half a day and took the afternoon off after being treated to lunch by friends and colleagues. Now Anders' is making Taco Paj for dinner and Karin baked a cinnamon crumble cake for dessert. And I'll spend the rest of the evening relaxing and reading: maybe we'll watch a movie. Perfect!

liz_reunion.jpg
I don't actually like this photo but my kids insist it's good.
Tags: famdamily, goodthings, obiterphotos
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