Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mimi!

I doubt there are many 68-year-old Americans celebrating their birthday in China today – there aren’t that many adventurous enough to travel by themselves to the other side of the world! (Mimi was born in the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rabbit, and it’s clear China doesn’t have the same idea of rabbit – timidity – that Westerners do) But of course Mimi is a seasoned traveler, having lived in France, Madagascar, the Belgian Congo, and all over the U.S., and having traveled to countless other places. She came with me to China for both adoption trips for the girls, and I don’t know how I would have managed without her. So of course we wanted to make her birthday extra-special!

Zoe and Maya had each made Mimi a mandala – a special kind of circle drawing she taught them – but couldn’t wait until today to give them to her, so her birthday actually started yesterday with the girls sneaking the mandalas out of the cabinet in my room and giving them to Mimi while my back was turned! They then woke up at 5:45 this morning to start the day off bright and early (yipes, WAAAAY too bright and early). Happy pre-dawn birthday to you, Mimi!

Since we were up so early, we decided to take a special trip to Gulangyu, a nearby island – more about that in the next post! After touring, we treated Mimi to a scrumptious lunch of shrimp, steamed fish, broccoli, and fried rice. Mmm, mmm, finger-lickin’ good!
After we came home, Zoe and I sneaked out to cook up a birthday surprise for Mimi (of course, Zoe is not the best co-conspirator for any secret project – she just had to announce to Maya what we were doing, and do everything but put it on a neon sign for Mimi to read!). We went to the bakery to get little cakes, hit a near-by store for a small present (an umbrella), and stopped at a booth near Nanputuo to get flowers (actually, the flowers are really for making offerings at the Buddhist temple, but I don’t see any reasons why they can’t be used to celebrate a birthday! It was funny, though, as we walked home – people know the flowers are offered by Buddhists at the temple, so they would glance at the flowers and then look at me, and then do a double-take. It seems I don’t strike them as Buddhist for some reason!).

This all seems little enough to do to celebrate the birth of an extraordinary woman – wife, mother, grandmother, counselor, artist, role model, friend.
Happy birthday to you, Mimi, and here's wishing for many, many more!


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Mimi from Julia and daughter Anna in Pennsylvania. You will never forget this birthday ! I loved reading your post about your trip. I look forward to reading more.


Wendy said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds like an awesome way to spend a b-day to me! Can't wait for the island story.
Funny because Madeline keeps coming in and telling me to be quiet and it is a secret--Daddy has told her this about my mother's day gift.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! You are quite the adventurous one !

Love P___

Anonymous said...

Happy (belated) birthday, Fran!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! You are having quite an adventure!