My little brother turned 20 on Monday. Over the weekend, my mom and I took him to brunch to celebrate.
Tom in "eater's pose". It's similar to runner's pose, but for eating.
Scrambled eggs at Ella's. A 45-minute wait to eat these eggs!
Afterwards, we took a walk by the beach. Ah, the convenient joys of living in California.
On Monday, I drove to Stanford to drop off Tom's birthday presents. My mom stayed behind at my house to work on web pages, her new hobby.
My parents are not big into gift-giving. After I started working fulltime, I convinced them to exchange Christmas gifts one year. My mom took a new towel from the linen closet. She gift-wrapped it and placed it under the tree. My dad then made a big show of opening the package, before quietly returning the towel to the linen closet.
But times have changed! My mom took from her suitcase a 红包, which means "red bag", the Chinese way of giving cash as a gift. I peered inside it as she handed it to me. It was thickly stuffed with a sum well into four digits.
"I want to help Tom buy a car, now that he's starting work," she said.
I suspect it's really to make up for forgetting about giving birth to her own son.
I call this "throwing money at the problem".
Tom opening my present, which is ... driving lessons! From an accredited driving school.
As I was leaving the house, my mom said, "Oh, I also brought your brother a bag of peanuts from Beijing!" We stuffed both into a bag. This picture shows Tom shortly after being presented with the bag.
Tom: "What is this? My birthday present is PEANUTS?"
Tom counting his newfound cash.
He then thought up this little prank:
Tom: [calling our mom] Mom! Thank you so much for the present!
Mom: Well, it's a very important birthday.
Tom: I love peanuts!
Mom: What about the other present?
Tom: What other present?
Mom: Didn't your sister give you another present from me?
Tom: No. She just gave me the bag of peanuts.
Tom: But she did show me the new shoes she bought today.
Unfortunately we did not actually play out the prank.