White Dog, The Other White Dog, Another White Dog, and Still Another White Dog understand how hard it is sometimes for Michael to be the center of attention so they took a different approach for his birthday today. This morning before school they spent a little extra time hanging out with him but didn't press the Big Day thing. Instead they left a little note in his lunch.
White Dog didn't plan an elaborate party, instead taking shy Quinn's advice for a quiet family dinner of Michael's favorite foods at home. Nuka arranged the gifts so that he could choose when he was ready to acknowledge and open them. Puff and White Dog made sure the table was set with a special placemat and candle but nobody mentioned anything was different than normal.
In his own withdrawn way, Michael seemed touched and called it the "first real birthday party he ever had." White Dog looked at me (reknowned for my all out birthday bashes) in astonishment. We were all touched that our small efforts made a difference.
The menu, fit for a 19 year old growing young man, consisted of shrimp, onion rings, bbq ribs, beef brisket, grilled sausage and salads. The White Dog Army shared in the repast sans bbq sauce and beans.
After the main course White Dog encouraged Michael to open presents since everyone was full and needed a break before dessert. AWD pointed out which one to open first.
The White Dogs had pooled their finances to get a lovely Eskie Rescue Mug and some exotic teas. Michael has been experimenting with tasting different types so the Army thought he might appreciate a Mandarin Green and a Wuyi Oolong. They were right, we had to try the Green with dessert and it was pronounced "very tasty." The pups were very pleased with their choices.
Michael requested a homemade pumpkin pie with real whipped cream in leiu of cake for his New Year dessert...and the entire White Dog Army concurred. There was not a drop of whipped cream nor a crumb of pie crust left on plates or bowls...which, White Dog tells me, brings good luck for the entire year. I firmly said "no" when Puff tried to convince that if one totally cleaned plate of pie was lucky then two would bring a landslide of good fortune. Quinn's nose followed the pie plate all the way into its resting place in the refrigerator before giving up on the chance of more.
Nuka gave Michael a kiss, and the Birthday Boy was off to his mancave..it IS a school night, after all!
Happy Birthday, Michael. We are glad we got to make the day special for you. It is our wish that your "new year" be filled with continued growth, wonderous adventures, a sense of home and security, and the knowledge that you are loved.