Doting parents.

Being a restaurateur, I have the opportunity to interact with different people planning to celebrate various milestones of their lives. Graduation, promotion, anniversaries, pregnancy, farewell, welcome and the most popular birthday parties.

Elaborate no expenses spared parties, budgeted birthday's with a curated menu and the regular unplanned birthday party. Parents have crouched behind tables with friends and screamed surprise when their baby(however old, the child is,she will be a baby to them) steps in.

I have been a part of so many different themes and plans that when it will come to celebrating my personal milestones I am not sure which way would I go, a huge over the top celebration or a laid-back close family affair.

After so many experiences I was surprised once again by a family of three, a father (appa) and two super enthusiastic pre teen girls. They were there for a birthday party of a small group of six, but for the girls it was a major event with a burst of choices and words.

The precocious girls took over the conversation literally making "appa" sit in the corner with a finger on his lip. Smiling inwardly at the scenario unfolding, I listened to their discussion, expectations and demands. They had been to the restaurant earlier and wanted to include their favourites from the menu. Chattering a dozen to a second, once we had the basics in place the 'appa' took over. The girls were well informed about the dreaded compulsory GST.

I loved the way 'appa" handled the discussion. He let the girls plan without interrupting or being the all knowing overbearing dad, he took over only after the girls were done planning. He wasn't over indulgent, the girls stayed within the boundaries of the budget and were happy to entertain their small group of friends.

I wish all dads would be like him giving a sense of independence, freedom of decision to make the right choices whilst keeping an eye on them without interrupting and interference.

Happy birthday little one and may you grow up to be a lovely person inside out and spread the cheer and love to every life you touch. You bought a smile on my face.