Friday, November 23, 2007

A Birthday to be Thankful

(Pictured are: David P., Reuben, Toni, and Frank)

Thanksgiving was not just a day to get together with family and friends, or a day to over eat and under-exercise, no, it was also my 46th birthday. I'm not the least bit shy about saying exactly how old I am because I'm so gosh-darn beautiful that something like a little age is never going to get in my way! Don't you love over-confident people?

Well, for my birthday - and actually days before, I was given the best(est) present a mom can get. I was sitting at church minding my own business. I do that most of the time when I'm in God's house, but sometimes I do open my mouth and let the controversy fly. I do that to see if anyone is awake you know. I was there, I was minding my own business. Now, I did know that this was Thanksgiving Sunday and I was actually anticipating a friend of my son's who would be coming to Oklahoma City from Ft. Hood in Texas JUST to be with me because he (being Reuben's close friend in Alaska, and having been able to visit his family) was coming up to stay with me for a day and be my "son" for the day. It was the next best thing to having my own baby boy in my arms.

Our class secretary asked us to welcome a member of the Armed Forced who would be sharing the day with the Stringfellow family, and he stated that the man would be leading us in prayer. I turned around, and MY SON REUBEN walked into the room! YES!!! MY BABY BOY! If I had followed my dream, my heart, I would have known. Even on the way to the church I told the girls I had a dream and I felt that Reuben was truly with us today. HE WAS! Laura knew about the surprise, Caity was taken back as much as I was. I jumped up from my couch seat (our church is cool that way) and I nearly tackled my baby. I did get lipstick on his newly pressed Dress Greens and I know I probably got mascara everywhere...I was doing a bit of the teary-eyed thing too. I was holding MY BABY!! I hadn't seen him in 9 months. I told him later that there was only one other time that I expected to see him and had to wait 9 months!

He was just as beautiful this time as he was last time. I have pictures. Well, the hard part came the next four days. We had to keep his presence a secret as he went around the city literally faking out everyone he knew! He'd call them on his cell when they were in restaurants, at home, even at the vet's office. He'd pretend to be in Alaska, just calling to say hello - and then he'd walk into their office, over to their table, etc.....freaking everyone out! Screams of joy and very loud laughter all over the place! REUBEN really does mean "It's a Boy!" and he is just such a boy at times. A really really loving and good boy, but a boy!

Thanksgiving, my birthday, was fantastic. Not being able to blog about him coming was hard to do. My sister or my mother, or maybe someone who knew them would have been able to tell them he was in town and therefore ruin the surprise. MY surprise was equalled by my sister Linda. She was just staring out Grandma's window, thinking about a day when we would all be together, he called her, he talked to her, then he said "Turn around Aunt Linda" and she was all over him then! Squeeeeeezzzzing and hugging and I think she left an imprint of her nails in his back through his sweater! She was crying and crying, and then she let go and began hugging him all over again! She loves her nephew. Grandma wasn't as funny as Pop. My Dad was literally 2 feet from Reuben, with his back turned, talking to him and asking him if he was going to have enough food for Thanksgiving. I was staring at my dad, telling him to turn around - when he did he just stood there facing my son with the phone still at his ear. He was still talking cell to cell to my son! It was pretty funny, it really was.

So, after a few more relatives, a few more friends, I think he's all surprised out. I thought about having his friend come up from Texas to surprise him...then I found out he was LYING to me about Clark in the first place. He's not from Texas, he's from Iowa! Now, I have to ask you, would it be against any federal laws if I pulled off my belt and spanked a United States Army Private?

Last year I was in New York City on November 22, hugging Jesse L. Martin on my 45th birthday. (I do treat myself right!) This year I was holding my three children in Edmond, Oklahoma. Given the choice? I'd take my three in Chicago any time. Hahahaha

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