My 31st birthday dinner was an abject failure. It took place at a very expensive seafood restaurant at the beach.
The scallops were the best I’d ever eaten, but the dinner conversation consisted mainly of trying to entice a 3-year-old to behave.
And then removing said 3-year-old from the restaurant when she began to disrupt other diners.
I was the only person at our table who’d finished eating, so I had to take her home.
I wrote a long, whiny post in the car on the way home. It was all about how I’d never before felt like I’d given up myself to be a mom, but that I felt exactly that way that night.
Fortunately, by the time I got Grace to bed that night, I’d forgotten the post.
I feel the need to mention that I was upset about the circumstances, but not so much with the 3-year-old. It was the last day of a week-long vacation. She was tired, out of sorts, and ornery as all get out.
Unfortunately, by the time we drove home, she was sincerely apologetic. By that time, she wanted nothing more than to return to the restaurant and not ruin my birthday dinner.
It was too late, a fact that made me so so sad – for both of us.
I had a do-over birthday dinner this past Sunday. My mom and I have birthdays in the same week, and every year, we have a birthday dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Rancho Grande.
The best thing about Rancho Grade is the people. The owners, their children, and their grandchildren run the restaurant; they’re warm and kind. The whole experience is like eating at a friend’s house, including mini Spanish lessons.
They go all out when it’s your birthday. They serenade you in Spanish, and then in English. They serve fried ice cream with a candle in it.
Perhaps, best of all, you get to wear a fancy sombrero.
And, because they really are that awesome, they even give Grace a mini sombrero to wear.
Of course, she wanted to trade me. Just to see.
My second birthday dinner wasn’t fancy or expensive. Quite the opposite, it was comfortable, familiar, plain.
It couldn’t have been better.
© 2010, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.