So Claire surprised me with a bouquet of flowers on my birthday. (Her grandparents had paid for it, but they told me that she had picked it out and she presented it to me while shouting, “Heppy buh-she-dey umma!”)
Of course I immediately placed the flowers in a vase and displayed them prominently on our kitchen table. And I guess Claire understands the concept of birthday gifts, because she would continually point to the flowers and say, “꽃!” (kkot, or flower in Korean) “Umma buh-she-dey!”
“That’s right, you gave them to umma for my birthday. Thank you!” I would reply.
Then she would nod proudly, smile, and walk away.
Well, after about the fifth time she did this, she looked a bit thoughtful, then added, “Umma! Whooo!” (making a blowing noise) “Umma buh-she-dey whooo!“
“Yes, that’s what you do on your birthday. You blow out your birthday candles!”
“Umma buh-she-dey whooo!“
“Yes, that’s what you’re supposed to do on your birthday, but daddy didn’t get mommy a cake or a candle to blow out.”
I made sure to raise my voice when saying this so that J would hear, and made a big exaggerated sad face afterward.
And just as I had hoped, Claire suddenly became gravely serious and asked, “왜?” (Weh, or “why” in Korean)
Haha, BUSTED, mister!
I told her to go ask daddy why he didn’t get me a cake for my birthday, so she ran to him and said something in Chinese to him. He responded in Chinese, and I didn’t even care to ask what they had just talked about because I was laughing too hard.
# # #
The most memorable part of my 32nd birthday was not the mouthwatering, literally melt-in-your-mouth 19oz prime filet mignon on the bone I devoured for dinner. (Seriously. Old Homestead outperforms Peter Luger every time I visit.)
Nor was it breathing a sigh of relief when J took me to The Standard High Line right after dinner because he had been hoping to take me ice-skating at their rink…and finding it closed for the night. (Because while I may be a decent skier, I am a horrible ice skater and I would have spent more time on my ass than on my feet, especially after the cocktails and the bottle of wine we had with dinner.)
No, it was finding the rooftop of a downtown bar empty due to the earlier rain, and so using the beautiful space with its spectacular views and twinkling Christmas lights as our own private space. By slow-dancing to Tony Bennett’s “The Way You Look Tonight” and Michael Bublé’s “For Once in My Life” (our wedding song) via the Spotify apps on our cell phones. And giggling like high school kids when a bouncer walked in on us making out in the romantic atmosphere.
Oh, and having your husband take care of the kiddos while you recover from a raging hangover the next day. That was pretty awesome too.