Last night, (Ben’s Birthday Eve), he leans into me at dinner and whispers,
How am I going to get out and buy flowers tomorrow?
He seems genuinely concerned. His brow is furrowed and he’s chewing his fingernail. He’s remembering a conversation we had a week ago when we were planning his party. In the middle of explaining what he’d like for presents (Knicks jersey, basketball high tops, trip with me to Games Workshop in the city), what he’d like for dinner (sole francaise), who he’d like to be there (everyone), he cocks his head and says something like this:
You know, it’s not really fair that the kid gets all the presents and the party on the birthday when the mom was the one who did all the work to get them there. Having a baby is like, really hard work.
Yes, I say, having a baby is really hard work. You are right. But the mom gets the baby at the end. That’s her present. Your birthday is the day we celebrate you being in the world, how happy we are that you were born.
Yeah, he agrees. That’s true. But still, the mom should get presents, too, ya know?
I can’t disagree. The boy has a point.
Well, maybe we should start a new birthday tradition where the mom gets flowers on her children’s birthdays. Or a card or a picture. That seems nice, I suggest.
Yeah. He nods his head. I think that sounds right. I see him thinking it through. Yes, that’s what we should do.
H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y to
B E N.
Today he is nine! He may be an April Fool, but he is truly one of the smartest, most interesting people I know.
Not to mention he has pretty much the best hair around.