I am back from my family vacation in Colorado. For one of our dinners we went to hibachi. I am sure all parents have gone to hibachi. It is my kids’ favorite type of restaurant. Me, every time I go, I am a little grossed out. The stove looks dirty and contaminated. I am sure I will have major food poisoning later on in the night, I get hot and sweaty, but most of all disgusted by the amount of fried rice I can eat.
Nonetheless, my kids love it. They never tire of the volcano trick, or the chef tossing shrimp in their mouths, and we always have a good time.
But the other night, I got a little sad. When my daughter Julia was a baby and we would go to these dinners, she was terrified of the fire the chef would make at the beginning of the meal. She would sit on my lap, back towards the fire, and hold on to me so tight. I loved every minute! Not the terror she felt, but the dependency on me. She was my baby, and all she needed was for me to hold her.
Fast-forward seven years, and she looks at that fire with delight. No fear, no lap, no clinging on to me for dear life.
And that is a parent?s reality, unfortunately. One day they need you for everything, and the next they are pretending to listen to you as they post yet another kissy face picture of themselves on Instagram.
One day you can get away with a kids menu for all of your kids, and the next day, your kid can?t qualify for the children?s buffet price at the hotel. One day they get a thrill from the kid snowmobile rides, and the next they look like those weird adult clowns that ride on those little circus bikes. One day they get mad at you if your aren’t at the bus stop, and the next, they threaten your life if you show up.
But I am going to be okay. I have decided to go in a little early at Hibachi and offer the chef a twenty to scare the shit out of Julia, and right before our waiter asks our kids their ages for a buffet, I will kick my oldest in his privates so he can squeal, ?I?m twelve.?
I guess I am not ready to let go. And if I have to eat dirty hibachi salmon, there has to be something in it for me.