After many years of NOT believing him when he said that he doesn’t like a big fuss on his birthday, I’ve come around to doing things his way. A present or two, cards from the kids, a steak dinner, a little bit of cake. That’s what he likes, so that’s what he got this year. Even for his fiftieth.
We took the kids out for dinner. Carlos didn’t have much energy. He’s had a cold and it was turning into bronchitis–the kind of cough that makes people at other tables turn and stare. In the car on the way over, I had taught him to say, “Happy Birthday, Daddy” but by the time we got to the restaurant, he wasn’t feeling up to it.
We came straight home after dinner. I put the candles on the chocolate truffle bar cake–five candles and one to grow on. Vivi turned off the lights in the dining room and we all sang “Happy Birthday” to Daddy. G blew out the candles…then Carlos blew out 3 candles and Vivi blew out 6. There’s enough wishes to go around at our house. I cut slices of cake for everyone and passed them around to the kids. It was delicious.
Carlos ate about half of his slice then started coughing. G patted him on the back until the coughing subsided. Carlos looked at him and said, “Huggy?” Of course! G pulled Carlos onto his lap and gave him a cuddle. Carlos said, “Horsey?” Of course! G set Carlos atop his shoulders and Carlos folded his little hands over G’s bald head. His head sank down to rest upon his hands. So sweet. So cute. So lovely.
So not going to stay that way.
When the next coughing fit hit, Carlos coughed so hard that he…..
Yeah, Carlos did that to G, but it wasn’t quite so magical. It was more gastric.
As G sat there, dripping, he said, “Well. Happy Birthday to me?”
And that’s when Carlos remembered what we had practiced earlier. He swayed there on G’s shoulders and mumbled, “Happy Birthday, Daddy.”
G swears that it was a good birthday. It’s certainly one we’ll talk about for a long long long time.