Dysfunctional Mom’s Christmas Saga. Part Two. The Surprise Family Dinner.

Welcome back! It’s Saturday.  After yesterday’s stress and drama of the frustration at Philadelphia International Airport, we managed to have a great evening with a dinner of pasta with broccoli rabe and sausage and cheesecake for dessert.

Which brings me to this.  Oona told me that the kids were taking care of dinner for Saturday evening.  This was a nice little respite for me because it meant an evening off from cooking and less a chance I would manage to stain a new J. Crew tee.

Forget what I said about staining my new J. Crew Tee.  I did. But the stain came out!

Early in the morning, my daughter and I headed off to the nail salon for our manicures and my lip and chin wax.  And upon arriving home, Bonaparte pulled me aside and told me, in secret, that someone from our favorite restaurant, Spring Mill Café called him to confirm the reservation for eight people at seven o’clock that evening.

Bonaparte may have gotten all stressed from the Spring Mill Cafe phone call–but I sure wasn’t!!!

This time the drama was reserved for The Frenchman! Whereas my drama is screaming, yelling, and various stages of me making a complete fool of myself, Bonaparte’s drama lies in his ability to have everything run perfectly, smoothly, and properly.

Welcome to my dysfunctional mom drama. And YES. I actually DID this on the NYC subway system 33 years ago.  This is how I drama!

He asked me if I knew anything about the reservation at Spring Mill Café.  I answered honestly and told him that I didn’t, but that dinner at our favorite restaurant was a nice surprise.

I’m easy!  I’ll take any surprise at face value and won’t stress…

Now the story takes on a bit of a dramatic flair.  He asked me to check with the kids to see if they did, in fact, call the restaurant to make the reservations because the resos needed to be confirmed.

I’ll also add that I didn’t care WHERE we had dinner because I just wanted FOOD–and a free evening pass from cooking!

I ran downstairs to the kitchen and mentioned to Oona, what happened. Oona texted Claire, Bonaparte’s daughter, who will from hereon in will be referred to as Claire, my stepdaughter. I don’t like referring to her as Bonaparte’s daughter. We’re all family now.

When Claire spoke to the owner to make the reservations, she explained it was a surprise. She also gave the restaurant her phone number to confirm.  Apparently, someone at the restaurant was playing Candy Crush[1] Saga and didn’t pay too much attention to the instructions that my stepdaughter gave them!

Roman chimed in with “that’s why I don’t like surprises”.  Jake was watching a football game.

And now that the surprise was out of the bag, Bonaparte started fretting about “the right wine”.  I can’t even.  My mindset was still highly appreciative of the fact I got a free pass on cooking dinner for the evening!

My Frenchman.  Made sure we had the proper wine for our big surprise!

Once I explained to Bonaparte that all the kids wanted to do was just take us out to dinner and not make a fuss—it was smooth sailing.

Or was it?

I’m that selfish peasant Patsy talks about. I drink outta the bottle!

Lo and behold the surprise was on us as we entered the restaurant.  In the back room were Claire, her husband, Brian and my step-granddaughter Sophie.  The room was decorated and festive. They were waiting for our arrival!

Claire did a great job decorating the room.  We had the traditional French wedding cake, Croquembuche!

The surprise was our belated Wedding Dinner.  The kids all planned this and boy, if Bonaparte had not received that confirmation voice mail, it would have been the surprise of the century.  Still, it was a fabulous surprise and we had a blast.   Here’s how it rolled:

Sophie, channeling her inner ’80’s accessories.  Hey–is she a Madonna fan?

Everyone had a place setting.  Me and Bapa–which is what Sophie calls Bonaparte!

Our Growing Family! Our wonderful kids!

We started out with an assortment of appetizers, including my favorite baby octopus salad…

…and country pate!

Cassoulet. OK–so it isn’t Toulouse Cassoulet but it was pretty darn good. I order Cassoulet a lot during the winter months.  I also snapped this pic after a couple of drinks so it’s a bit fuzzy. I make no apologies!

Jake and Roman are serious diners…

…and I’m pretty sure Oona is describing our airport adventure here..

Brian and Roman in conversation while Jake has that enigmatic look about him..

I have absolutely no idea what Bonaparte is saying to me–I’m just happy and feeling pretty good after all that Champagne!

And guess who was watching over us during dinner?  None other than the spirit of Bonaparte’s grandfather, Jacques-Henri Lartigue in the form of a photograph he took turned poster!

It was a great, great evening and even though the surprise was let out of the bag–it was just wonderful!

I was feeling the love…

Sophie, our hostess, had her work cut out for her!

So, when all is said and done.  I’m blessed.  I may be a dysfunctional mom—but luckily the kids and my stepdaughter all did such a fantastic job with our dinner.  It was, one of those evenings that completely warmed my heart!

I wore my new holiday pants from Old Navy.  They were tight from all the food I ate–I won’t even attempt to wear them again until after the New Year.  Weight Watchers here I come.  Again!

That’s it!  I sure hope you enjoyed the surprise and the continuing saga of my dysfunctional mom Christmas.  Part Three is on the way!

[1] See previous post.  Dysfunctional Mom Saga Part One.

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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18 Responses to Dysfunctional Mom’s Christmas Saga. Part Two. The Surprise Family Dinner.

  1. Sharon Daly says:

    A lovely family celebration! Congratulations!

  2. Margaret says:

    What a wonderful surprise! That restaurant is beautiful (I remember from your prior posts), and the food looks delicious too. I never heard of a French wedding cake and will be googling that, thank you very much ☺️ Glad you all had a great time at that very special gathering, Congratulations!

  3. hipchick66 says:

    That was wonderful that the kids did that for you! Even if the surprised got screwed up!

  4. Judy says:

    Aaaaahh, that was such a lovely, thoughtful thing for them to do. You are truly blessed, Catherine. What a really wonderful evening.

  5. Juliet says:

    Awwww you are all just the cutest family, that’s official

  6. Jeanne says:

    Warms my heart…blessings and congratulations.

  7. Cathe, I just love the way you tell stories! What a fabulous surprise even if the cat was let out of the bag! And I read part two before part one, now I have to back track and read the first part! But thanks for always keeping it real and sharing yourself with us. And thanks for linking up!


  8. Cathe says:

    Love the picture of you and Bonaparte, touches my heart! Thanks for sharing such a lovely family celebration.

  9. That was such a great read. Thank you for sharing. The dinner just looked wonderful! I did make us onion soup and crab quiche for various Christmas dinners (we have quite a few when everyone gets here) from one of my French cookbooks that I’ve had since ’74.

  10. A really sweet gesture from your family. A terrific place to celebrate your wedding. Beautiful evening. Thanks again for the reminder about Spring Mill. Our 15th anniversary is the 28th, but we haven’t celebrated yet. Have you tried Delice & Chocolat in Ardmore yet?
    Best wishes to you and Vincent.

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