Sunday, December 23, 2007

Birthday Bash

We have just finished a weekend of birthday celebrations. Offspring No. 1 turned 18 yesterday and offspring No. 2 is 15 today. They had very different ways of celebrating their birthdays.

As I said yesterday, I thought long and hard about how best to celebrate the 18th birthday of my first born. I wanted to do something appropriate, something meaningful, something that clearly stated that I acknowledged the rite of passage from child to adult. What can you do at 18 that you have not been able to do prior? Gamble? Buy pornography? Vote? Okay, I will give her a voter registration card for her birthday. I really could not think of anything that I thought she would enjoy or appreciate, so I did the logical thing; I asked her what she would like to do. I was waiting for her to say that she wanted to go get a tattoo or she wanted to "party" with her friends. I was pleasantly surprised when she said that she wanted to be taken to Central Market. For those of you not from Texas, Central Market is a grocery store, an exceptional grocery store, but nonetheless it is still a grocery store. For Brooke's 18th birthday we went to the grocery store. She was thrilled to be buying leeks, and dragon tongue beans, and fresh parsley and cilantro, and freshly baked bread, and tofu, and many other things that jumped into her cart.

The kid, I mean the adult, truly is a nerd; a nerd who is an amazing cook though. When her friends ask what she did for her birthday, she is going to say that she went to the grocery store. You should all hear the rumble of laughter across the country. Fortunately, Brooke does not care much about what others think. Let them laugh. She was happy. Because she was happy, I was happy. What could be better?

Continuing with her cooking themed birthday, we also went to see the movie, Sweeney Todd. There is an uplifting piece of entertainment. Seeing this movie made me greatly appreciate all of the vegan meals for which we had just purchased ingredients.

What to give as a gift to an 18 year old is tough. Though the task was difficult, I think we all did OK. She received a few books and DVD's. She is never disappointed with either of these. Money and gift cards also made their way to her. And, she got the Lego Batmobile. What more could an 18 year old want? We ended the day with a pasta dinner.

This morning we got up and started it all over again. Erin wanted a lunch tailored especially for carnivores at a local Brazilian steakhouse and, she wanted to invite two friends. Your wish is my command. Bring it on. As the waiters brought around an endless supply of freshly grilled meat on a skewer, I tried hard not to think about the plot of yesterday's movie. Lunch was followed by a trip to the mall to finish some last minute Christmas shopping and then a rendez-vous at the house for cake and opening of the presents.

What should I get her for her birthday? I was helped on this one. Last year about this time, Erin played Miss Adams in the stage show A Miracle on 34th Street. She fell in love with a red wool coat that was issued to her as part of her costume. She wanted to "just keep it" after the show, convincing herself that it would not be missed on the costume deck, but that she would miss it. I tried to buy her a red coat last year for Christmas. None was to be had. I had forgotten about the whole red coat thing until I saw one in a store a few weeks ago. That's it! That's the red coat. Birthday present solved. She also received a lovely hat, though it does not go with the coat.

And then there was the package from her sister. Brooke's gift to Erin was wrapped in newspaper and decorated with PETA stickers. "Cut class, not frogs." Pigs are our friends." And so on . . Wearing her knitted critter scarf, Erin carefully unwraps the box, while thinking that any minute she may have to call in the S.W.A.T. team.
When left to her own devices, it is always a little scary to see what Brooke finds to satisfy her gift-giving obligations and then to see just how she chooses to present said gift.. Despite the peculiar wrapping, Erin was overjoyed with what was beneath the PETA propaganda.

Here is Offspring No. 2 all decked out in her birthday haul.

Not pictured here is the pink hooded sweatshirt that says, "Real women drive John Deere." Is this not appropriate for a child who is now old enough to take driver's education?

As of this moment, a well-dressed, old enough to get a learner's permit 15 year old has been born, as has a new, voting non-Republican. What a comforting thought!

A not so comforting thought . . .in 2010, these two will turn 18 and 21 at the same time. How will we celebrate then?