Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

Dear Kenny, April 6, 2008

Dear Kenny,


     Happy Birthday, Honey!  I can’t believe you’re turning *ahem* 38!  I’m sorry I taught Anthony to say you were “older than DIRT“, but you have to admit, it was pretty cute to hear him say “Daddy odder’n doit”.  And now that you’re “officially” five years older than I am, well, teasing you makes me feel young.  *snort* 


     When I think back to the first birthday we celebrated together, the memories make me smile.  That was such a fun day!  Remember when I told you that because I had a test the next day, I couldn’t make it home for your birthday (fib)?  You sounded so crushed, yet so understanding.  You were turning 25, and you’d only been home from your mission for three months.  We’d just gotten engaged a few weeks before.  There was NO WAY I was missing your birthday. 


     What you didn’t know was that I had conspired with your step-mom to surprise you, so I caught a ride home with her and put my crazy plan into play.  I decorated your bedroom with streamers and balloons, and spritzed it with my perfume.  Your step-mom had ordered a cake from the bakery, and she made Chinese chicken salad, your favorite.  (Which, by the way, I fully intend to make for you again someday.  Again.  That makes it sound like I’ve ever made it, which I haven’t.  Sorry about that.) 


     The look on your face when you opened your bedroom door was priceless, and I was so excited to have surprised you!  I assumed your tears were of joy and shock, and I cried with you when I realized that this was the first birthday celebration you’d EVER had.  Birthdays were such a big deal in my house, I couldn’t even imagine what it was like for you, being ignored year after year.  Maybe a cake, but mostly not.  Not even a “Happy Birthday” unless they overheard your grandparents singing to you over the telephone.  When you told me your step-mom was putting on a show for me, I felt angry.  She shouldn’t have been trying to impress ME, it should have been all about you.  Now, after 13 years,  I see how your family works.  There’s no “Do unto others”…  it’s all about “Do unto me”. 


     I remember how we swore that we would never forget a birthday for our kids.  (And really, how can a parent, or even a step-parent forget something so significant?)  We promised to make birthdays a big deal.  Now that we’re both getting older (“Odder’n DOIT!”), we’ve gotten away from the “big-deal” birthdays for us, but I sure love how we celebrate our kids.  It’s what you should have gotten for first 24 years of your life, and I’m glad you’re finally seeing that while I may have been raised in “Disneyland”, it was much more normal than the dismal home life you experienced. 


     We have our own theme park here, Sweetie.  Some days it feels more like Six Flags than Disneyland (thank you, Anthony), but it’s always a place of celebration and love.  It doesn’t even have to be anyone’s birthday.


I love you!!!



P.S.  I hope you enjoy your birthday dinner of tacos and banana cream pie.

P.P.S.  Good luck with your new job!  I know you will be fantastic.  They are going to be so lucky to have you!  



This post is brought to you by the letter A (ancient), the letter K (Kenny), and the number 38.



10 Responses to “Dear Kenny,”

  1. Mercedes Says:

    Beautiful letter filled with beautiful memories!


  2. Mein Gott in Himmel, hier ist Ute! Says:

    Herzlichen Glueckwuensch zum Geburtstag, Kenny!!! Haben Sie mal viel spass! Sie haben eine guter Frau, nichts? Hoffentlich koennen Sie und Ihre schoene Frau jeden Tag zum “Mutterland” zusammen fahren. (Das ist die “only clue” Sie werden bekommen, Frau Kemi…) Sie haben einer sehr nett Brief geschreiben fuer Ihrem Mann.

  3. Mein Gott in Himmel, hier ist Ute! Says:

    P.S. “So alt wie Schmutz?” (Stimmt das? Ich weiss nicht die richtig “colloquialism.”) Cheers – Ute

  4. highhopes1 Says:

    Happy Birthday OLD MAN! 38 your just a pup still.

  5. firstsister Says:

    Happy Birthday to Kenny!

    Kemi it’s very touching that you brought the joy of birthday parties to your husband’s life.

    Hope you both have many, many, more to celebrate together!


  6. Goldie Says:

    You made me cry too! Poor Kenny, but so blessed to have you!
    Happy Birthday!

    I am still piecing everything together– did he ACTUALLY have the Disney-esque wicked stepmother?

  7. Kemi Says:


    Yeah, pretty much. He was the family “Cinderella”. (I’ll have to tell him. He’ll be so impressed.) 😉

    His home life was the stereotypical dysfunctional family… divorce, parents cheating, sisters all pregnant in high school, brother in juvenile detention, other brother on drugs, extreme physical abuse, neglect, foster homes, etc. And that was better than life with his birth mom– she decided she was too young to have three little boys at the age of 25, so she tried to kill them. Multiple times.

    It’s a miracle he’s a functioning member of society. Truly, it is.

  8. highhopes1 Says:


    I think you have a lot to do with who he is and the stability and love that you give. You are a caring person and your warmth, compassion and love comes out.

  9. pppj Says:

    Poor kid! I’m glad that he celebrates his bdays!

  10. […]      (To read last year’s birthday post, click here.) […]

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