Mother's Day. Breakfast made a seven-year-old and delivered at the crack of dawn with the help of her father. French toast and hot coffee in bed.
Breakfast-skippers be damned. You will eat the delicate little heart-shaped toasts and they will be delicious.
It's a little daunting, though, when the whole family is perched on the end of the bed staring at you as you lift the fork. Extending the plate, I offer one of the toasts to those who are salivating.
"Maybe we can go to the place where mom's present is today," says the husband, who is slightly behind on his Mother's Day shopping but still has a few days left on the birthday shopping. "This is a Mother's Day-Birthday-Fourth-of-July-Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas and New Year's present, too."
I had dropped a hint that I would like an iPad.
"You know ... I think I might actually like an iPad," I said when he asked what I might want for my birthday. "I don't know. ... I'm just thinking that I'd like one for reading books. I read so rarely since the kids were born. And there are so many books being distributed electronically ... I'm just thinking ... maybe it's not as bad as I thought. Maybe I'd actually read more if I didn't worry about collecting books or library fines ... "
It was more of an inner-monologue gone astray than a hint, but he got the message.
He was smiling at me.
"You got me an iPad?" I said with the tiniest bit of apprehension. His answer was all important: If he HAD ordered it I would have be thrilled and going online immediately to check out available titles. If he hadn't, I would be relieved.
"I didn't order it yet. I was trying to figure out whether we should get one that's 3G or not."
"Please, let's just forget it. Don't get an iPad. As it is, with the phones and the computer, I'm already distracted enough. I don't want another screen for the kids to have to compete against. You say all the time how much we're missing ..."
Although I knew he agreed with me, I could see him deflate. He still had the problem of being the only father in the known universe who hadn't even gotten his wife a card.
"I'd be happy with a tomato plant," I said. "Really. We could go to the plant center."
He's a stickler, though. A $4 plant I would likely kill within 48 hours wasn't going to cut it for him.
"Let's go get a tree. What do you think? Wouldn't it be nice to have a fruit tree?"
I was a little skeptical. Trees are expensive ... and you probably need two if you want fruit ... and then there's the thing of planting them ... and caring for them. ... Maybe we should just research this a little before we jump in.
"You Google, I'll get the keys."
Before I knew what was happening, there we were at the plant center peering at rows of fruit-bearing trees and shrubs as the kids careened down the stone-covered walkways, dragging the garden center's big-wheeled wagon behind them.
"What I don't get is what's the difference between the apple trees and the pear trees," he said in all seriousness.
I blinked. "Really! Really?"
He just smiled and said he was going to find someone to help us.
"OK, but please don't ask that question at The Genius Bar."