I usually cringe when I see them coming -- waiters en masse heading toward a table of five or more, usually a family, and usually with balloons tied to a chair or two and gifts tucked somewhere at their feet. I know then that soon there will be a loud announcement and an even louder rendition of some version of Happy Birthday. And I wonder if it's too rude to stick my fingers in my ears or pretend there's a need to find a bathroom.
But on this night . . . surrounded by a family I've embraced because I can . . . I beamed. Our shared love -- a precious two year old who stole my heart the first time she looked into my freckled face, paused and then laughed aloud -- was celebrating the completion of her second year. She watched curiously as the waiters gathered and then squealed with delight when the "music" started.
"Tank you!" she yelled after them as they walked back to their customers and stations.
"Tank you" indeed. To all the powers that be that bring someone close enough to let you see the good, the bad, and the precious, 'tank you."