I would sit in the back seat looking out the window, wondering where we would go and what kind of food we would have. For some reason I would never ask. Maybe I subconsciously enjoyed the speculation. There was a feeling of excitement in the air. At least there was in the back seat. I'm sure my parents were probably able to restrain themselves but my sister and I would be close to bursting by the time we got out of the car.
When we were seated, I would get to have a Shirley Temple or a Cherry Coke which was exciting in itself since I was rarely allowed to have sugary drinks let alone carbonated ones. It seemed to me the waiter or waitress would always make sure the drink contained extra cherries for me, although in hindsight, my mom probably had something to do with it.
I never actually looked at the menu since my mom always knew what I would want and she was always right. After ordering, we would sit and talk and laugh until the food arrived. The food was always good and everyone would be full and relaxed as we climbed in the car for the ride home.
The ride home was always quieter than the ride there. Maybe it was the darkness enveloping us or maybe, like me, everyone was mesmerized by the lights of passing cars and traffic signals. The interior of the car constantly changing as the multi-colored lights would dance across the windows. My mind would wander, drifting here and there in rhythm with the lights.
As we pulled onto our driveway and then into the garage, I would allow myself to drift into a light sleep at the familiar sounds of the garage door opening, the car being shut off and my Dad trying to get me to wake up. I could hear him but I knew that if I stayed asleep, he would bundle me into his arms and carry me to bed. In my mind, there was no better way to end the evening...
Yesterday, my family and I went out to dinner for my daughter's 19th birthday. The service was okay, the food was okay, the bill was ridiculously high and by the time we got home, I felt as though I was going to be sick.
It wasn't an Asian restaurant but the fortune fit.
My daughters went upstairs to do what teenagers do in the evenings (watch TV, text and get on the computer). I spent the rest of the evening drinking Pepto Bismol and grumbling about wasted money and bad food.
This afternoon when I checked my FB page, I noticed that my 19 yr old daughter had posted on her status what a great family she has and what a great birthday dinner it was. She posted how much she loved us and thanked us for giving her a great birthday...
...maybe the food wasn't that bad and you know what? The bill was worth every single penny.
Happy Birthday Pooky Bear. I Love You Too.