I don't often involve my entire family in my blog, but given what transpired last week, it would be a great disservice not to.
To celebrate a landmark birthday, they hit me with a monumental Surprise. No, not the perfunctory party, but going for multiple sweetspots, they presented me with a piece of jewelry whose emotional make-up and personal relevance far supersedes the astonishing bling factor.
First of all, the ring was designed by my two sons, Hayes and Aidan. Both creative beyond their years in their own fields (Hayes works with his hands and Aidan with words), they were tasked by my wife to create a Nulman family ring that would be worn by all three of us Nulman males. Hayes initially formed a four-N square out of tinfoil that would be used as a base, and then the two got to adding bits of pieces of us to it. In addition to the inspiration, my wife provided the diamonds, taken from her original engagement ring.
I could try to explain this four-sided masterpiece, but it's best left up to the "Map" the boys wrote and made me read to fully understand the piece as it was presented to me. I've edited a bit for brevity's sake, and to avoid long-winded explanations of family stories, (but added my comments in bracketed italics):
We've spoken about it before, but we never knew what the right occasion was, Dad, it's finally here. You're turning 50 Time for a(nother) "balling" ring. This time, with 23% more meaning. (That's Aidan's warped sense of humor.)
Side 1: The Snowboard
As always, you were way ahead of the curve on this one (we started over 15 years ago). We're very proud to be a family of snowboarders--not just two dopey kids who do it--and now we can show it off, even when we're not on the mountain. We can't wait to hit the POW!(der) again this year, and for many to come. (Note the Pow! exclamation marks on each side of the board.)
Since music is such a big part of your life, it's always been a big part of ours, too. Whether it was journalism (I started my career as a rock journalist at the age of 16), taking us to KISS concerts, or listening to the sounds of the '60s in your 'Vette, we're glad you shared this love of yours with us. If only Mom had joined the Bar Mitzvah Band (Aidan played drums, I sang and Hayes played guitar at his Bar Mitzvah), we could've been the Jewish Partridge Family.
Side 3: The Hockey Stick
Going to hockey games together has been a Nulman tradition ever since Zaidie Harry (or longer, we're not sure). (My grandfather was a furrier, who made coats for the wives of the Montreal Canadiens in the '50s and '60s.) Now that you're a player again (I just made the transition from goalie to defenceman after 20 years in nets), I can't wait to finally be on your team. (Hayes is still a goalie...and way better than I ever was.) Let's name the team the Westmount Warhols. (As a tribute to our love of contemporary art, note the paintbrushes that flank the hockey stick.)
As we see it, there are only two things that bring the four of us together, other than ourselves, of course. Now that we hatchlings have left your nest, we're always looking forward to Jewish Holidays and winter vacations. (The winterized Star of David embodies them both.) They are, after all, when we make it an even bigger point to spend time together.
So what can I say? The result is so eye-catching, I have to repeat the story over and over to whomever sees it (from now on, I'm just giving them this URL). And feeling a little left out, my wife has ordered her own version of the ring, making it a true, gender-inclusive, family heirloom.
Best. Birthday. Ever.