Our son, Pete turned 15 on April 4th. For us parents, he is our pride and joy. When he does something adorable, our hearts skip a beat. When he faces difficulty, our muscles tense up. When he accomplishes something new, our eyes gleam with delight.
Pete’s birthday this year was more fun than in the last two years as we got to celebrate it outside with some of his friends, in 2020 though, it was the time when the government decided to close all schools, and in 2021, it was the time when the government put the whole city on lockdown due to the pandemic.
On April 3rd, we took Pete to Rosewood’s Brasserie Louis Restaurant for a pre-birthday gourmet dinner. It was a beautiful Sunday as the afternoon sun bathed the buildings in its warm light, allowing tons of tiny specks of dust to dance in the shaft of afternoon sunlight. We had a reservation for three at 6 p.m., and our table was strategically placed near the glass wall in the corner. The restaurant was tastefully decorated, creating a relaxed, welcoming ambience. While there, we enjoyed the clear and quiet atmosphere, the sunset, the night sky aglow with bright city lights, and the stunning views of Phnom Penh’s cityscape, Tonle Sap, and Mekong River from the 35th floor. The service and staff were good. The starters and main courses that we had were good, although the portions were small and the menu selection was limited.
On the way home, we decided to stop at Samaky Bistro near Wat Langka because we wanted a more chill atmosphere and their delicious crepes with chocolate and lemon while watching people passing by and listening to the live band nearby. This fun side trip made the entire evening much more enjoyable!
The next day, my husband and I surprised Pete with a birthday breakfast board, which he devoured happily! Alan made beef stew for his home lunch, while I packed it and scribbled down a short lunchbox note.
In the evening, we prepared a simple and sumptuous seafood birthday dinner at home, complete with a well-planned menu that satisfied all of our cravings! The salmon and saucisson board was fantastic with pickled cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and fresh green olives. It was delicious. After the delectable starter, we took a 15-minute break to empty our stomachs for the main course, which was classic lobster thermidor cooked in rich white wine, gruyere cheese, mustard, and homemade béchamel sauce served with pasta, baked tomatoes with sliced garlic, freshly sliced red radish, and blanched asparagus! It was a five-star rating!
I baked Pete his 15th birthday cake – a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries. I also made chocolate cakes for his friends at school to enjoy.
Pete enjoys music and plays the guitar as his favorite instrument. As he can now play his acoustic guitar well, Alan and I decided to grant his birthday wish – a new electric guitar – as a way of showing him our full support in helping him improve his abilities in music. While we were having a birthday dinner at home, Alan told Pete that we would take him to the instrument shop on the 11th of April so he could choose an electric guitar he liked with a beginner’s set. He was over the moon!
On April 10th, we took Pete and five of his friends to spend the day at the Garden City Waterpark for a fun post-birthday celebration! The teens were buzzing on the way and couldn’t wait to get to the waterpark. They tried all the slides and almost every activity in the park as soon as we got there. After lunch, we enjoyed floating on the slow-moving Mekong River. It was more relaxing and enjoyable! Pete and his friends were exhilarated and had so much fun the whole day. Certainly, it was a joy to see them having a good time together!
On the way home from the waterpark, our friends treated us to a pizza at Brooklyn Pizza. The pizza was good, and we all gobbled it down as soon as it was served. It was a sweet treat before we departed for our homes.
It was definitely a birthday that Pete will remember for the rest of his life. Time slips away quickly, and he inevitably grows older year after year. And each year brings new challenges that help him grow, as well as happy memories like this one that he will cherish for many years to come. Happy 15th, our Pete! Papa and I love you!