*names changed to protect the innocent child
Scott and I just got back from dinner at TooJays, the closest thing central Florida has to a good Jewish deli. We were seated near 4 old people sitting at a big table. We ordered our drinks, and then the rest of their party showed up: mom, dad, a little boy, and a baby girl.
Fifteen minutes later, the cooing and cheek pinching and baby talk had slowed down enough that we could actually make out grown-up words mixed in. "Happy birthday!" "Do you like your new Star Wars bed?" "Did you think grandma for your new toys?" We got to sit through one of the women (my guess is not the mother) singing the theme song from "Elmo's World" to the baby girl. And then the conversation took a strange turn.
"Your birthday is important to a lot of people." Scott and I were trying to figure out why the Dad was trying to give the kid a Jesus complex. I wanted to turn around and tell the kid that no one outside of that table gave a damn about his birthday, and that some day soon he'd be old enough to know how obnoxious his family was and he'd be embarrassed. But I didn't. And that's a good thing. We had been mocking the conversation when all of a sudden snippets of conversation along the lines of "and a lot of people died..." and "they call it Patriot's Day" came toward us.
Oh. My. God. And so we learned:
a) 4(ish) is the age when you tell your kid about 9-11.
b) if your kid's birthday is on 9-11, you have to celebrate it a full week in advance. (really, the party is tomorrow)
c) TooJay's is the new Chuck-E-Cheese
Scott also got the fringe benefit of watching the family eating. I can't do justice to his description of Mom feeding the baby and herself at the same time, but trust me - I was suddenly glad they were only assaulting one of my senses!
Needless to say, the ambiance just wasn't great tonight. So we got a slice of cake (for my half-birthday) to go. If you'll excuse me, there's a zillion calories in the fridge calling my name.
Happy early birthday, Joshua.