Happy 21st birthday!
Yes, I know that every year since I’ve known you has been your 21st – but don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me 🙂
First of all I want to say a huge thank you for taking Wayne off my hands! You are far more beautiful, hard-working and above all tolerant than he deserves! The pure joy on his face on your wedding day was so easy for all to see ❤
But let’s go right back to the beginning …
I remember the day we met. I interviewed you for a zookeeper position at Tropical Wings. And DIDN’T offer you the job! (Oops – sorry about that!) It wasn’t that I didn’t think you would be perfect for the animals but I was looking for someone confident enough to give a presentation in front of a big audience and I thought you were just too quiet.
So – first impressions are NOT always correct! Boy was I wrong! 😛
But it’s a testament to your dedication and perseverance that you pestered the boss over and over again after that interview, begging for a chance to work with the animals you adore. Personally I think she just got fed up with answering the phone to you. I was overruled and you started your zoo career. And I’ve never been so pleased to be proved wrong 🙂
Oh the many happy hours we spent working together, especially when we were training my beloved otters.
And then James made the mistake of having his 18th birthday. He invited all his young colleagues to celebrate with him and his brothers at a club, and there you met Wayne. So it’s all James’ fault, really!
Time passed and I’d started my Mobile Zoo business. After a year of more work than I could handle alone I approached you with the fabulous offer of becoming my Head Keeper … with precisely no staff under you whatsoever!
Together we built up the menagerie till it took over the whole house! Do you remember we convinced Frank the tarantula was yours, just staying temporarily while you waited for a new tank? It was ages before the penny dropped and he looked at me suspiciously through narrowed eyes and said “That’s your spider, isn’t it?” This, and many other funny stories you were a part of, made it into my book.
Thank you for everything you did which became part of my story, and for making it the best Mobile Zoo in the country! (Sorry about all those kiddies’ parties for 7-year old boys – aaaargh! 🙂 )
And now you are no longer my colleague or my employee. Instead you have gone from friend to family, having filled the position of daughter-in-law, and have done so brilliantly! Not only have you succeeded in changing Wayne from a boy into a man (as much as anyone could hope for, but hey, you did get him to eat vegetables, which is more than I can say!) but you have also given me two wonderful grandchildren – pretty impressive for someone only just turning 21 😉
Connie and Frankie are so amazing. I know you made Frank’s joy complete and I’m so grateful that he got to hold baby Connie in his arms. I’m also certain that wherever he is, he’s surely bursting with pride to know that you named our grandson after him, and I’m still not completely certain that he didn’t have something to do with organising his arrival – born exactly 9 months after the day we lost Frank. How does the saying go – Coincidence? I think not!
Hoping you have a lovely day, and I’m only sorry I can’t give you the one birthday present you’ve always asked for – “A miiiiillion pounds, please!” Will you settle for a Krispy Kreme? 🙂
Lots of love
The Monster-in-Law xxx
PS Looking at all these photos of you over the years I’ve just seen a Rainbow Connection – your hair seems to have been black, pink, ginger, blue, brown, blonde … and every colour in between 🙂