October 25th, 2007

Little Things Big

We always stop at Beyond Bread on the drive down from Skylar's school to her martial arts class. She changes her clothes there and eats a few bread samples. Sometimes we don't even buy anything. And when we do, it's usually just a cookie or a fountain drink. There simply isn't time for anything more elaborate. Nevertheless, the employees there are used to our presence. It feels a little like a home away from home.

Today, when we walked in, Skylar spotted a lovely chocolate cupcake with orange icing and berries on top. I told her she couldn't have it, since she'll be having cake and other goodies for her birthday tomorrow. "What you need today is protein," I told her. After she went to the bathroom to change, I went up one of the registers to see if I could, in my best imitation of Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces, order a side of cheddar cheese without ordering the dish for which it would constitute a side. The man helping me couldn't figure out how to make that work on the register, though, so I figured I'd have to order a sandwich for myself.

"How much cheese do you need?," he asked. I told him just a few slices, at which point he disappeared into the back and, after a minute, returned with my request in hand. "It's on me," he smiled. I thanked him and started to pay for the loaf of ciabbata I'd ordered to give Skylar as a birthday treat tomorrow. "Anything else you need?" I told him I was set. "But what about your little girl? It's her birthday tomorrow, right?" I explained that I wanted to limit her sugar intake. "Aww, come one. It's her birthday, man, and whatever she wants is on me too, so you might as well."

Needless to say, I couldn't resist his offer -- he's always really nice to us, but this gesture of kindness took the proverbial cupcake -- Skylar got to eat what she'd wanted for dessert tonight. But first she had to do lots of bouncing on the trampoline. Earlier, while driving around, we listened to Beatles songs on my Toshiba digital music player -- thanks once more, danlmarmot! -- and I reminded her that we'd given her the red and blue Greatest Hits collections for her birthday last year. It was a lot of fun hearing her refine her ability to distinguish between John and Paul. She specifically requested "A Day in the Life," which is enough to make my day any day, much less her birthday eve, and then "Strawberry Fields" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "Across the Universe." Then, when it was time for her to bounce at home, she decided to listen to the first CD of the blue collection while doing her jumping jacks and karate kicks. Her choices? "Penny Lane", "Hey Jude", "Lady Madonna", and "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." Now that's a girl who deserves a cupcake!