I realize I missed out on some cute moments this weekend since I had to work. I missed out on a small family birthday party, but from the description of my dad's demeanor, and knowing my similarities to him, I probably had just about as much fun working.
On Thursday the 10th, my daughter Naomi hit 6 years old. A day later my father landed squarely on 59. And finally I have at least 3 very special women to celebrate on Mother's Day.
So I had this bright idea - since dad foots the bill for everyone else to have a birthday dinner at the resturaunt of his or her choosing, I thought it nice to return the favor. At first I realized the problem to my idea was that I couldn't afford to feed 10 people unless we all agreed to fast food, and even then the nicer ones might be a stretch. Then it hit me. Dad wouldn't feel too financially pressured celebrating Mother's Day out in public if his son's helped him pick up he tab in honor of his birthday and the holiday. So it was decided. After church, we'd all meet up at the rally point and enjoy some family fellowship without the bother of prep and clean up.
Scheduling is never easy when multiple persons and/or families are involved. So was the case when a last minute monkey wrench was curve-balled into the gears. After some juggling and reservation cancelling and recoordinating, my little clan of four opted to spend the layover time with my wife's mom and grandparents. How fortunate things worked out the way they did. By the time we got the call that our party's table was ready and the designated cherry picker was being seated, the visit had come to a natural conclusion and her mom was also headed out the door. We made it to the resturaunt with plenty of time to order, and didn't have to entertain little ones in a crowded waiting area. Darn Murphy and his law to Heck for 15 minutes (see Dilbert), poor dad was last to be served and made to wait a good 5-10 minutes. We had pleasant conversation and occasional entertainment (my youngest nephew likes to show his mommy love with his teeth ... anywhere he can sink them in), and after settling the bill three ways even, the thoughtful waitress brought dad a free desert packed to go just as we were leaving. I can't say enough about how cool it was to see something like that happen altruisticly such as it was. The bill was paid, including the 15% gratuity added on due to size of the party. She wasn't working for tips at that point, merely expressing sincere apology for the earlier snafu and making a great example of what customer service should be.
My parents graciously accepted invitation to watch a movie at my brother's house. I and mine took a short stroll through the pet store to window shop the wide variety of animals (kinda like an urban zoo), then travel home. Though late in the day, we all hit the sack. The exhausted birthday girl slept the night through; her brother only waking long enough to remember to brush his teeth, get a drink of water and return to bed. Ever the night owl, I was up for a bit catching up on shows then returning to my wife's side for the remainder of the night. Overall, though busy and on the move for most of the afternoon, a very fulfilling day that will be carefully filed into fondest memory.