Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Joy of Turning Six

on April 3, my youngest granddaughter turned 6. She said it was her "best day" because it was her birthday, she was losing a tooth (hanging by a thread), and she had her party coming up in two days.

Because it was her birthday, she was given a choice that night of going to eat anywhere she wanted. Her parents were betting she would choose McDonald's because she really enjoys the playground. Nope. She chose Joe T. Garcia's, the famous Tex-Mex restaurant in Fort Worth where visitors from around the world come for a "must-see". She's been there a bunch of times with her family. It is not expensive, but it is not cheap, either. I was invited along, and we bundled off on a rainy night to the restaurant.

Even on a week night, there was a long line, in part because people couldn't sit on the patio with the pool and flowers and kerosene heaters to keep off the chill. Something about April 3--seemed like half the folks were carrying gaily wrapped birthday presents for their own celebrations. Laughter and chatter throughout. A mariachi band roamed table to table to sing to the celebrants, You have two choices in the evenings--enchiladas with beans, rice and guacamole served family style, and a plate of tacos. Or fajitas. The adults ordered the enchiladas, her older sister ordered fajitas. The kids love guacamole, did I say? So we ate and stuffed ourselves, bringing a fair amount of the fajitas home. We mentioned to the waitress that it was her birthday and she had requested Joe T.'s.

At the end of the meal, the waitress surprised us with a huge, thick sugar cookie with pink icing and six lit candles. The six-year-old beamed ear to ear, and smiled even wider when we sang happy birthday. The mariachis sang to the two adjacent tables, adding to the celebratory mood. I hope she remembers the cookie--it was big enough to slice, and we we all had a piece. It was good.

Celebration. That's it. We could have gone to any restaurant, but she picked the one with celebration literally in the air.

She picked well.

But it is two days later and time for her party at Chuck E. Cheese. Somehow, the tooth is still hanging in there.Gotta go.