Mike's parents, the above mentioned Dick and Jane, apparently enjoyed celebrating the first day of spring/the day of the year with the most daylight. We know this because they left traces of their celebrations that are here with us even now. What am I talking about, you might well ask.
Today, nine months after the first day of spring, is my beloved husband's 62nd birthday.
Today is ALSO the birthday of his brother Jim who is now 60. Happy Birthday Jim!
December 9th would have been their brother John's 59th birthday. John is and always will be ever present in our hearts.
Yep, things got a little hectic in the O'Neill household with 3 babies in 4 years. My mother-in-law coped and maintained her sanity, God bless her. For one thing, Mike remembers that for many years while they were small birthday parties and celebrations did not happen in December. Instead, an earlier fall day was chosen so that birthdays were special days and did not get all caught up in the whirlwind that is Christmas.
However, my favorite story is one my father-in-law used to love telling. It may be apocryphal but it is still worth telling if only because it makes me chuckle.
When Mike was a little boy they lived on Wellington Road in Syracuse, NY. It was a neighborhood of young families with lots in common who became friends and not just neighbors. The neighbors quietly watched the population of the O'Neill household increase almost every December. After John's birth they decided that something must be done to help poor Jane.
So.............they took up a collection amongst themselves and presented the resulting sum to Jane with instruction that she take a vacation the next March, ALONE. Problem solved.
Fable or fact? Who knows but it is true that the next, and final, little O'Neill did not arrive for a few more years and then in September and not December. :)