So last Tuesday, our second day in South Carolina and the day we visited the children’s museum, also happened to be my dad’s 50th birthday. At least a month ago, I called my mom to make plans. I was thinking, Hey, he’s 50, let’s do a surprise party or you take him on a trip and I’ll stay with Ethan. Something big.
Her reply, “Why? He didn’t do anything special for my 50th birthday.” That’s kind of how it is with my parents.
So I told my dad I’d take him out to dinner for his birthday, just the two of us.
“Nah,” he said. “My buddies are taking me out for lunch. So I won’t be hungry for dinner.” That’s also how it is with my parents. Like one meal a day.
So after the children’s museum, we put Benny down for a nap, Gavin made a beeline for the Wii (in Ethan’s bedroom–he loves when we visit), and Mom and Megan and I went to run some errands. In the middle of this, my mom gets a call from my dad. Something came up and the lunch with buddies didn’t happen and he was bummed.
“We gotta do something for your dad’s birthday tonight,” my mom declared. Duh.
We spent the next few hours running around town and calling people to invite them to an impromptu birthday celebration. We ended up having a family dinner at Longhorn, which was quite fun. The extended family showing up was a surprise for my dad. I never will understand why my parents don’t put a little planning into things like birthdays, but their marriage works and I don’t question it. They put a lot of effort into other things, like five children and four grandchildren. My dad has a lot to show for his 50 years.
My favorite moments of the dinner included Megan and Gavin insisting on ordering their own meals and doing a great job. Megan, annoyed that she had to order off the children’s menu (I’m almost 10!), was contented with a children’s sirloin, medium well, and a loaded baked potato. Gavin wanted vegetables. Just vegetables. I ordered the grilled chicken and veggies off the children’s menu. Gavin ate most of the vegetables, and I gave the rest to Benjamin, along with the grilled chicken, half a sweet potato, and 3 or 4 slices of bread. When he started fussing, the waitress brought him a plate of halved grapes and a handful of Teddy Grahams. I have never seen a toddler eat so much in my life.