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jaegerfesting
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Birthdays

Started: 2021-04-14 20:07:25

Submitted: 2021-04-14 22:16:34

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator's now-fully-vaccinated parents visit their grandkids

A year ago, in the interminably long month of March when the COVID-19 pandemic took over my life (a month which we have not really managed to escape from yet), my kids had birthdays. My parents were planning on visiting to celebrate, but in the first month of the pandemic when we had no real idea how bad it was going to get, it seemed prudent to ask them to not come. (At the time public health officials were still telling us we shouldn't wear masks.)

A year later I think we're approaching the beginning of the end. My parents got their first shot in January; by the end of February they were fully vaccinated and eager to see their grandkids. Public health officials kept trying to tell us noble lies about what one could and couldn't do after getting the vaccine before finally conceding that the vaccines were actually very effective and would even protect against transmitting the virus (they were shocked (shocked!) to learn this) and it would be foolhardy keep grandparents from their grandkids.

Julian, Calvin, and Kiesa consult on birthday cakes
Julian, Calvin, and Kiesa consult on birthday cakes

In lieu of a birthday party with actual people in person, Calvin spent the Sunday before his birthday playing games online with his friends, culminating in birthday cake after supper.

My parents dropped by Angwin to spend a couple of days with my brother Willy before they all drove down to Loma Prieta, conveniently timed with my kids' birthdays at the end of March.

Uncle Willy and Calvin with birthday cake
Uncle Willy and Calvin with birthday cake

We celebrated Calvin's twelfth birthday with cake and presents. Kiesa made a chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting and cherries, and I picked up a vegan German chocolate cake at Whole Foods.

Nana films Calvin opening birthday presents
Nana films Calvin opening birthday presents

Calvin got a couple of massive Lego sets, which he spent the next couple of days assembling on a card table in the corner of the living room.

Grandpa and Julian watch Calvin open a birthday present
Grandpa and Julian watch Calvin open a birthday present

We celebrated Julian's sixth birthday four days later. He got a coconut cake, made with powdered coconut milk; we didn't know that was a thing but apparently it worked well in the cake. Julian had somewhat more trouble blowing out his candles than Calvin did, despite only having half as many.

Julian blows out his birthday candles
Julian blows out his birthday candles

I got Julian a body board and wet suit, on the theory that we're moving to Santa Cruz so we ought to be prepared to splash about in the chilly Pacific water. He also got a couple of Lego sets and several costumes (which he enjoys dressing up in).

Nana watches Julian open a birthday present
Nana watches Julian open a birthday present

My parents left the following day to drive back to Walla Walla, after spending a couple of days with us to celebrate my kids' birthdays.

Julian poses with a wrapped birthday gift
Julian poses with a wrapped birthday gift
this is a neat, if unintelligable, hack
- Jaeger's comment in BMAS::Service::Domain, 11 October 2002