Happy #*th Birthday, Mem!

1We commemorated Lynnette’s birthday in the most adult way possible: eating take out after a round of errands. Was it the least sexy birthday  “celebration” of all time? I don’t know, but it’s got to be pretty close. Probably still behind this, but give it time.

Lynnette famously said that all she wanted for her birthday was dinner from CPK and a bubble drink. Well, she got both. I also got her a Samsung smartwatch. A few weeks ago she was impressed when we looked at one and she learned she could sync her work calendar. This also means that she will never ever miss another one of my phone calls because she can’t hear her phone inside of her purse. Never again will she call me and say “You called?” four hours after I did. Nice win/win.

234I hope that what tonight’s dinner lacked in ambiance was more than made up for with the quality of the company. Cole and Avery were thrilled to get home and eat their homemade chicken soup. Back when she was merely pregnant with the twins she went off about wanting to make the twins’ food herself. She’s kept to her word and the twins love it. Their favorite foods are avocado, tofu, ube, and whatever comes out of Mem’s blender.

Madison turned down CPK and Sushi Bay (where I got dinner) for Easy Mac. She was going to order mac and cheese from CPK anyway, so we saved some money. She also heated  up a couple of hot dogs by herself. That’s right, Mad’s learned how to use the microwave so she’s now old enough to be left home alone with Abby and a healthy supply of Hot Pockets and Easy Mac. Honestly, I don’t know if I’m ready to leave her home alone, but she’s going to have to learn it some time and maybe that’ll end up being before she learns how to ride a bike. Anything’s possible now, I guess.

Being so completely and utterly domesticated has a certain charm. There’s a practicality that permeates nearly everything we do. Much of the time, the choices are made for us. There was never going to be a fancy restaurant dinner on a Friday night. No sitters. We couldn’t wait for a table to open up. It’s not enjoyable eating with your left hand as your right is blindly trying to make sure your kid isn’t falling onto the floor beneath the table or screaming at the people in the adjacent booth. We have more things to take care of tomorrow and that will mean packing a bag of six bottles and two full containers of formula, an exorbitant amount of diapers, several things of Mum-Mums, and random household objects that don’t believe to Cole or Avery in the event that they get restless.

5If this birthday bash was a disappointment for Lynnette, she didn’t let on. She let Mad and me eat first so we could watch the twins while she ate like a queen. Because it is her birthday, she ordered the Kung Pao Spaghetti and the spinach artichoke dip. “Oh,” she said to the person on the other end of the call. “And I have an email for a free dessert on my birthday. Can I get that with this order?” She asked. There were a few beats of silence. “Great! Let’s do that,” she said.

In a perfect world, our capable au pair would have watched over our three children as Lynnette and I dined at the hottest new restaurant. The food would have been excellent. I would not have cared about the price. We would have had our driver whisk us to a remote part of the island dark enough to see the stars in the night sky. He would have put noise-cancelling earphones on and remained in the car while Lynnette and I – she in an elegant dress and I in a tailored suit – spread a blanket out over fine sand and lay next to each other holding hands, calling out constellations as we saw them. Time would pass and it would not matter. Perhaps the sky would slowly creep into increasingly lighter shades of blue until the rays of the sun were visible in the east. I would have gently roused our driver from his slumber. “Take us home,” I would say. Lynnette and I would fall asleep in the car and the driver would in turn gently wake us from our sleep when we arrived at our sprawling home in Royal Summit. The kids would all still be asleep. An ice cold Coke would be waiting.

But tonight, I ordered slightly more sushi than I could comfortably eat. Cole and Avery stayed up a little longer than usual, and Lynnette’s chips were a little soggy. There’s no perfect world, there’s just this one, and in this one, I found a beautiful, intelligent woman who – for reasons that seem even stranger than fiction because they are true – fell in love with me and decided it would be reasonable to build the rest of her life around me. Happy birthday, Love. I am so grateful to have you in my life. I hope you enjoyed your day. We can get more bubble drinks and your favorite foods all weekend. You deserve it.


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