I celebrated a birthday last week, and while I don't necessarily embrace the relentless march of aging, I do cherish how my son, now 11, went out of his way for me. It was not a significant birthday, in the way that every fifth or tenth birthday is now. My family got me a new coffee maker, which everyone is enjoying immensely.
But Henry told me he wanted to make me dinner as my present. He is a fussy eater himself, and doesn't spend a lot of time cooking these days (understatement of the century), so I was impressed with his thoughtfulness. He sees me working in the kitchen every evening and in his own very perceptive way, understood that relieving me of this duty for one night would be a gift.
My husband also offered to pick up dinner, so we ended up compromising: Henry made the appetizer and the dessert and we had sushi as a main course. (When my daughter was six, her birthday dinner request was "Thai food and Fudgsicles," so that's what we had. Our birthday dinners do not always comprise sophisticated menus and combinations, but they are always heartfelt).