Sheryl and Brynn Peper of rural Haskins, Ohio, are one of those dynamic mother-daughter duos who take delight in sharing many things: a love for shopping; a taste for Disney movies, even each other's size 7 shoes.
And today - as they have for the last 11 years - they also are sharing Mother's Day.
It is only the second time since Brynn came into the world on May 11, 1997, that her birthday has fallen on this second Sunday in May - the day traditionally set aside for honoring motherhood.
But Mrs. Peper decided long ago that for the sake of fun and convenience, Brynn would celebrate her birthday every year on Mother's Day, regardless of the calendar date.
"I don't mind sharing it with her," she said. "It's a perfect time for the family to get together. We're all together anyway, so it just works out nice."
And Brynn said she doesn't mind sharing with mother, either, even this year when it's her special "golden birthday" (11 years old on the 11th). But she admitted that it can feel a bit weird to be handing out mom gifts when she is the one blowing out birthday candles.
"Usually you get the presents, not other people," said Brynn, a fifth-grader at Grand Rapids Elementary School.
Her mother has no reservations about sharing the spotlight.
Brynn Peper, with her mom, Sheryl, celebrates her birthday every year on Mother's Day, not just on the anniversary of her birth, May 11, 1997. Neither mom nor daughter minds sharing her special day. The close-knit pair from rural Haskins, Ohio, share everything anyway, right down to their shoes.
"She was the best Mother's Day gift I ever got," Mrs. Peper said.
Melva and Genus Gilmore and their daughter, Callie, who also turns 11 today, have taken a different strategy.
The Gilmores gave Callie a large 20-invitation birthday party, but she had to celebrate it a day early. That reserves Mother's Day itself for Mrs. Gilmore.
"I really don't want to share the holiday," she joked.
The decision was really more about spreading out the joy. Callie's parents wanted to give her a day all to herself, and their two older children wanted their mother to enjoy a Mother's Day that's focused on their mom. This compromise also allows Mrs. Gilmore to fete her own mother today.
Asked if she minded this day trading with mom and grandma, Callie shrugged her shoulders.
"I don't think she minds as long as she gets presents," Mrs. Gilmore said with a smile.
Both Mrs. Gilmore and Mrs. Peper can recall being the only mothers in their respective hospitals who delivered on Mother's Day 11 years ago.
For that honor, the staff at St. Charles Hospital gave Mrs. Gilmore the gifts of a car seat, special dinners, and a bouquet of roses. St. Luke's Hospital bestowed a gift bag of diapers, formula, and an embroidered quilt to Mrs. Peper.
Mothers who give birth today at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center will find in their newborn's crib a purple Beanie Baby with a white ribbon that says, "Happy Mother's Day."
"We try to do something on every holiday, but especially Mother's Day," said Ann Mercer, obstetrics services manager.
Sasha Lanning of rural Bowling Green is learning today that one must attain a certain age before her birthday party may rival those festivities of Mother's Day. Turning 11 just doesn't cut it.
Amy and Rod Lanning gave their daughter her sleep-over birthday party Friday night. So today the Lannings and out-of-town relatives will celebrate another occasion with Mother's Day: the 76th birthday of Sasha's grandmother, Gay Holcomb of Pemberville.
Mrs. Lanning still remembers her thought process in 1997 after doctors gave her a Mother's Day delivery date.
"I'm a pretty determined person, and I had it in my head that I was going to make it happen if I could," she said.
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