A couple weeks ago, I took the boys down to my dad’s house for his birthday. It was meant to be a surprise that all his grandkids were visiting. But I blew it in a way that doesn’t portray me in the heroic light I am used to portraying myself in the blog.
Anyway, I suggested to the boys that they choose their Grandpa’s birthday present. I had visions of giant purple muumuus and Terminator sunglasses dancing in my head.
Luca immediately declared his pro-fire truck stance and would not budge. Elijah was a bit more thoughtful. He hemmed and hawed. At one point I asked him to think about what kinds of things Grandpa liked and he replied, “Grandpa likes caring for people.” Solidifying a permanent place in my dad’s will.
The day before we left for Peoria, I gleefully announced we were going to Target and commence buying something useless slash hilarious.
But Eli spoke up, “What if we bought Grandpa a shirt that says ‘Happy Birthday?’”
Wow. Awesome idea. It just so happens I have a friend who owns a T-Shirt screen printing company called “T-Shirt Deli.” It’s styled like a real deli, with shirts in a meat case and they wrap their goods in butcher paper and it’s all very hip.
I immediately loaded the boys into the car and we sped off to the once ultra hip part of Chicago, Bucktown. I used to live there when it was cool and you could get murdered and stuff. But now it’s all gentrified, man. With their Starbucks and dumb Dads shopping with their kids getting birthday presents for their grandparents.
Anyhoo, while we were driving, I asked the guys what they wanted Grandpa’s shirt to say.
Eli said, “Happy birthday, Grandpa. We love you. Love, Dada, Mommy, Luca, Elijah and Grover.”
“Well, I’m not sure we’ll be able to fit all that on one shirt. And I think they charge by the letter. So let’s try a shorter message.”
“How about, ‘We love Grandpa?’”
I said, “Well. See. He’ll be wearing the shirt. So it may look a little weird for him to be wearing a shirt that says ‘We love Grandpa’ when he’s Grandpa. It’ll look like he loves himself…”
I looked in the rearview mirror and could tell Eli had no idea what I was talking about. And the fractured logic added just enough purple muumuu-ness to make this another successful Eli and Luca present.
We arrived at the store and put the order in. Extra large blue t-shirt with red letters. Perfect for a retiree. The very nice and ultra hip employee tried to point out that it didn’t make sense for us to give Grandpa a shirt that says he loves Grandpa…
I cut her off and said that’s the shirt we wanted. We added a heart shape instead of the word “love” just because.
My dad loved it.
p.s. Today’s photos are of Luca’s first day at pre-school. Diana didn’t give me any details aside from the fact that Luca cried a bit but was okay. You gotta love that little chunk.