Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Place for Ribs

When the signs of puberty first made themselves glaringly obvious, I asked Em whether she wanted me to "make a big deal" when she eventually got her first period.

"What do you mean by 'make a big deal'?" she asked, somewhat warily.

"I mean, do you want me to just give you the stuff you'll need and then pretend like nothing happened, or would you like it if I took you out for a special 'woman's night' or something like that?"

"Could we go to Tony Roma's?" she asked. My daughter is nothing if not a baby-back-rib fanatic.

"We sure could," I answered.

"Then, yes. I want you to make a big deal," she said with a grin.

That was more than a year ago, maybe even two. I've rechecked her feelings on the matter now and again, and they stayed steady. And so, tonight, my daughter and I shared half an onion loaf and a spinach-and-artichoke dip, and then each had a half rack of baby backs followed by an apple tart (for her) and velvet cake (for me). She asked questions; I answered them. We walked around the neighborhood near the restaurant, stopped at a drugstore for supplies, then browsed at a bookstore just because.

When I laid down with her at bedtime, which I do every other night--her brother gets the odd-numbered dates, she gets the even-numbered ones--she put her arms around my middle. "That was really fun," she said, with a yawn. "Thank you so much for making this so special for me."

"Thank you," I answered, "for letting me."

9 comments:

po said...

I swear to god I am gong to freaking cry. What happened to that baby girl with the big cheesy grin, who called me "Pola" and Susanna "Sana" and so nicely tolerated all of Matthew's overzealous hugs and kisses???? WAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!

PnP said...

Waaaa, sniff, say it aint so!

Green said...

Em is way lucky; that was really sweet. Way nicer than my mother, who stepped on my foot and slapped me in the face, claiming it's some sort of tradition. I think she lied and just saw it as an excuse to slap me in the face.

TC said...

How funny, Green! I was telling Em last night that I had heard that slapping a girl's face when she gets her first period is a tradition in Judaism and maybe some other cultures. And so I looked it up:

http://www.menstruation.com.au/contributors/slap.html

I have no idea bout the foot-stomping, though!

John said...

Waah, we're not ready! ;-)

Susanna said...

LOL that wasn't John, I forgot to log him out! ;-)

S

Ambre said...

Yeah, I suspect this is something John is not supposed to know about ;)

Congrats, Em! We told Gaby and Rebecca that from now on, Em gets to sit with the grown ups while we're having juicy conversations, while Gaby and Rebecca still have to "go play." They looked really dismayed for the 30 seconds it took to realize we were joking ;)

Leightongirl said...

I loved reading this, and yes, I'm taking notes, although my vegetarian daughter may opt for Real Food Daily.

AB said...

OH MY! I am in tears. How wonderful.

My parents took me out to a French restaurant down the block from where we lived. It was fantastic. AND yes, my father was involved. Back in those days my father bought all the stuff from the drugstore because we were too embarassed to ask for it. It was hiden behind the counter! (G) As week or so after we found out that upstairs was a house of ill repute!
I believe I was 10!