Who says kids are ingrates? I never did, but if I had, I’d have been wrong. (Well, okay, maybe I said it once, on a bad day, but I’m sure I didn’t mean it.) My kids and our house guest Talula proved it this past Valentine’s Day—or, as they like to call it, Singles Awareness Day.
My wife Allysen and I were warned: Don’t make any plans for Valentine’s Day. And be ready to dress up in your nicest clothes. Yes, Dad, that means a jacket and tie, don’t even think about arguing, and be ready by 7. Okay, we said, figuring they must be hijacking us to a restaurant, which seemed awfully sweet. But as 7 approached, we were cast out of the kitchen, and finally told to go in our room to dress and don’t come out. Meanwhile, Julia scurried around setting up something in the dining room, and Alexandra and Talula furiously cooked.
Then came a knock on the door. Alexandra stuck her head in, said, “Count to ten, then come out. We’ll be back at midnight.” She was just slipping out the door as we emerged. And our jaws dropped. We strolled out in our finery to a dining table set with white tablecloth, soft candlelight, dragon glasses filled with a nice red wine, classical music on the stereo, and an amazing dinner on the table. A tomato, mushroom, and squash soup with crisped fried rice. Delicious baked or fried, spicy cakes made from ricotta and egg and parmesan—and no, I don’t know what they were called, but they were served on a bed of spinach greens, and they were fantastic. Afterward, we decided to make some Irish coffee. We didn’t have Irish whiskey, so we used Scotch. We didn’t have whipped cream, so we used vanilla ice cream. (We did have decaf coffee.) It was wonderful. And the house to ourselves until midnight.
I’m here to tell you, our girls (and I include Talula even if she isn’t technically ours) are wonderful. Thanks, guys, for the best Valentine’s Day ever!