Apio Verde

Party_1955Today is my sister's birthday.  Hi, Alina! Happy Birthday!

She shares this day with our cousin Ricardo, who still lives in Havana.
Sometimes their birthdays coincided with Mother's Day and the frenzy of celebration was mind-boggling.

In this picture, Alina and Ricardo get center stage, although being older, he was quick to understand and act on the blow-out-the-candles part of the photo op.
Alina is saddled with a hair bow that really should have its own area code. Look at the size of that thing! She probably couldn't lean forward to blow out candles for fear of keeling over into the cake.

But here's the detail that tells me that it was also Mother's Day: The kids are dressed like their mothers. Notice the girls on the left (cousins) and my aunt holding them. Duplicate dresses. The other aunt on the right (Ricardo's mom) holding Cousin G, matches with her boys.
How much fun is this?

I don't know if they do this in other cultures, or if it's just a Cuban Mother's Day tradition, but it's certainly familiar to us, to our family.  And okay, I think it's really cool.  So would you be surprised if I told you that I make my kids dress like me on Mother's Day?  These days we really just kind of agree on a color and end up looking like a "team" of some sort.  And I don't think that's a bad thing.  Here's the fun part - they think it's really cool, too. (or possibly, I have brainwashed them after all these years...)

This Sunday we are celebrating Mother's Day at Alina's.  Which means we will also be celebrating her birthday then, by default.  And of course, Team Darby will be there! ;-)

P52830364I'm proud of my beautiful sister. She is smart, funny, and caring and I love her dearly.  She is married to the Indomitable Steve and has raised 3 incredible daughters, Kelley, Katie, and Natalie

I'm particularly grateful to her that in spite of sharing a room with her artist sister for 18 years, and being forced to dress alike for quite a few of those, she didn't hold a grudge for very long. =D)

Felicidades, Alina! (we've all voted. you look much better without the hairbow.)