A few months before I turned 16, I moved to FL. Before the departure, my dad asked me where I would like to go for a special dinner, a 16th birthday tradition he celebrated with each of his daughters. I considered various locations and settled on The Pump Room (Chicago). Looking back I probably chose it largely because it sounded so snobby and I had seen it many times while bumming around Michigan Ave.
So it was that an evening in January found the two of us having dinner. I, being my most grown-up self, ordered cream of asparagus soup. Imagine my surprise when the soups were brought and I had placed before me a bowl containing nothing but some bright green asparagus tips. Shock must have been evident and my dad asked what was wrong. I leaned toward him and in a conspiratorial whisper I said "Dad, there's no soup?" He looked into my bowl, and hiding a grin he asked me if that was not what I ordered. Just as I was about to answer he said, "Ah, I believe this is what you were waiting for!" As the waiter poured the cream soup into my bowl. The rest of the meal went smoothly and was followed by a carriage ride down Michigan Ave. An evening fit for a sweet sixteen.
Tonight Teen will embark on her own "Dad and Me" sweet 16 dinner. She chose a fondue restaurant and her dad dutifully made the reservation. He has informed her that dress attire is expected and she seems excited. I will be sad to miss out on her 16th birthday dinner, but I am thrilled for the memories she and her dad are building. Hopefully there is cheese in their fondue pot!
Happy Birthday Teen!!