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The dessert deal: Tiramisu as cure-all

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

We're extremely lucky that neither my husband nor I need to do much traveling for work. While my husband has long hours, extremely late nights are rare, and I can count the number of dinner meetings in a year on one hand. Yes, extremely lucky.

The times my husband does have dinner meetings, my kids seem to meltdown – and hard – simply because they are not used to Daddy being out of the house like that at bedtime. This means that on the rare dinner meeting night, when he does get home, I'm spent. And then some.

The dessert deal: Tiramisu as cure-all A few years ago, on a whim after one of these dinner meetings, my husband stopped by a dessert restaurant in the city and picked out a couple of individually-sized desserts to bring home. (If your city or town does not have one of these dessert restaurants, I highly recommend you get one. They rock.) I'm sure that during dinner he could sense, from miles and miles away, my jealousy that he was having actual adult conversation and a meal that didn't include the term "kid-friendly" while I was handling a tantrum over the audacity of food to actually touch on a plate. Or perhaps I sent him a text message so he could share the joy.

After my solo evening with the kids, that tiramisu was so very welcome. It was an obvious thank-you for holding down the fort so he could do what he needed to do – but it was also just plain kind. I think that very night I said, in jest, that we should make it a rule that whenever one of us has to be out for a work dinner, we bring home dessert for the other. We chuckled about it, I'm sure.

But then, a couple of months later, he did it again. After a dinner meeting, more tiramisu! Or I could choose the tropical fruit tart if I was so inclined. And something of a tradition was born. I may have suggested it in jest, but I sure am glad he took the suggestion to heart.

A little tiramisu and kindness go a long, long way.

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Points and Prizes Keyword: TART worth 50 points good through 02/10/08.

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