Our tradition has been to let the kids pick a place to go out to dinner for their birthday. Dori always chooses seafood, Macy likes Italian and the boys usually pick Chinese. A new Chinese restaurant opened up at about the halfway point between the guy’s house and ours so we go there quite a bit. Since we are a pretty big family and need to pull 2 tables together when we come in we are pretty well known there. Once we were there for Dill’s birthday and the hostess noticed that it was a special occasion (probably because we had gifts and sang the happy birthday song to him off key!) She came over and asked Dill how old he was. Then he told her how much he loved coming there to celebrate. He wore a huge smile and ate the whole dinner (always chicken and broccoli) and the woman seemed to enjoy talking to him every time she walked by. (Everyone is always amazed at how much soup and Chinese food that boy can consume… he is always insulted when anyone asks if wants kid-sized portions)
At the end of the meal, the hostess came over with a large bag that was stapled closed and gave it to Dill. He opened the bag and inside it was stuffed with fortune cookies. You would have thought she gave him gold! It was his favorite present and I am sure he can’t remember any of the gifts that the family spent time finding, buying, wrapping and bringing for him…. But he will remember those cookies.
As we walked out, Dill was beaming and gave the hostess an uncharacteristic hug and thanked her again. I commented that it was a very nice thing for him to do and he stepped into the parking lot, turned to me and said, “Just workin’ the charm, Mom.” Oy!