D's birthday was this week.
This year, for the first time, he didn't come to me weeks in advance with a picture from a magazine, or website, of the cake he wanted - the cake that usually sets the theme for his party.
Instead, he decided, turning a very grown-up twelve, he might just like a "normal" cake, with ice cream, and presents, but no party.
I was okay with that. Given the number of birthday parties we have in a year, I was more than okay with that. But still, I wanted to find ways to add little special reminders of his birthday, throughout the day, especially since we had to wait until T, and the the Man of the House were off work, for the presents and cake.
To begin with, I woke D up early (he's an early riser anyway, and didn't mind), so he could make a quick run to the store with me to pick out a dozen donuts for breakfast. Donuts for breakfast are rare in our house, and he was pretty pleased to be able to choose all 12 himself. While we were at the store too, I picked up 12 quarters in change, for later in the day.
At lunch, to go with D's requested, grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, I added one apple, cut into 12 slices.
Then, it was time for the Man of the House to come home. I really wanted to order a pizza with 12 toppings, but the pizza place website informed me that was too many toppings to allow for proper baking, and refused to take the order. Instead, the Man of the House volunteered to cook another of D's favorite dinners, before cake (decorated simply, with sequences of 12 M&Ms) and ice cream (with 12 different flavors to choose from).
While we were picking up the donuts in the morning, I noticed the pints of ice cream were on sale for a dollar each, and ask D if he'd like an ice cream shop style ice cream tasting, before the cake. He was pretty thrilled with the idea.
When the time came, before we added the candles, and sang, I lined up the open cartons, in a single row, on the table. Then, I gave each child 12 plastic spoons, and let them move, single file, past the cartons, taking a small sample from each, before choosing the one they wanted with their slice of cake. It was a surprising lot of fun, and a wonderful way to end off a very special day.