Monday, February 6, 2012

Don't Let Him Fool You; He's a Big Ol' Softie

February 6, 2012

Last Thursday night, I picked Nicholas up from Robotics at about six o'clock. I was sick and achey, and all I wanted to do was to come home and collapse onto the couch in front of the television. When we walked in the door, me single-minded in my mission, Nicholas suddenly and 0h-so-nonchalantly said, "Mom, I think I want to learn to bake something tonight. Would that be okay?"

Ugh! "Nicholas, that is so....random. Why do you want to learn to bake tonight?"

"Oh, I don't know. I just want to try it."

"Listen, Honey. I would love to help you learn to bake, but I'm really sick. I don't think I'm up for it tonight. How about this weekend? I'll help you this weekend, okay?" He shrugged in acknowledgment and went back to his room. A few minutes went by and he wandered back in.

"Uh, Mom? I really want to try it tonight. Can I just try it, and if I need any help I'll come in and ask questions?" He was very persistent. Why not? He's fifteen. He can read directions. I gave him the green light, still wondering what had prompted this sudden interest in developing his home-making skills. I didn't give it too much thought, though, because my head was fuzzy and I just wanted to doze.

After a little while, I heard squabbling in the kitchen. Not the there-is-imminent-danger-of-bloodshed kind of squabbling, but the just loud-enough-to-be-annoying kind. Danielle had wandered into Nicholas' baking area, and was clamoring for a piece of cake when he was done. He was insisting that she wouldn't be allowed to touch the cake, let alone eat a piece. The very sophisticated verbal wrangling went something like, "Yes!" "No!" "Yes!" "No!" (If you're a parent, you're familiar with this particular rhetorical strategy from your kids.) My husband, bless his heart, went in the kitchen to resolve the issue. He was back in a matter of minutes.

"Did you know that boy is in there baking a cake for a girl?" he asked. "I went in there and told him he couldn't just bake a whole cake in this household and expect to have it all for himself, and he told me it wasn't for him; it's for a girl in his class whose birthday is coming up." Well, doesn't that just take the cake!

I called him into the living room to get the scoop. Yes, it was for a girl--a very sweet girl that I happen to know. No, he doesn't like her that way; they're good friends and he just wanted to surprise her. Her birthday was on Saturday, and he had class with her on Friday. I thought it was completely adorable. Once the cat was out of the bag and he knew that he had a mom-approved reason for not letting Danielle have a piece of the cake, he didn't mind asking me for decorating tips and advice on how to wrap it up so that the cake made it intact to class the next day.

By all accounts, he did, in fact, surprise her, and the cake was tasty. Truth be told, he surprised me, too. I'm not sure I would have guessed that his hidden agenda was a sweet birthday surprise for a friend. As my kids grow up and mature, I love the little ways they continue to surprise me.

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