Rare like, the dragon defeating the knight.
Rare like Spartans losing a battle.
Rare like a ninja being seen in public.
Rare like an honest politician.
So go ahead, ask me. What was this rare occasion? What did I witness? What was it that was actually worth sitting down and writing about?
I saw a family having a good time at a restaurant. Oh, the horror! Gasp! You don’t say!
Yes, it’s true. I was at Panera for a meeting. The meeting was short and sweet. As I was getting ready to leave, I heard this uproarious laughter behind me. I turned my head, slightly interrupting the conversation I was having, to see what was going on. And what to my horror did I see? A family, laughing together and enjoying time together.
Go to any restaurant and you will see a completely different scene. Families struggling to get through one evening without little Jimmy throwing green beans into that ladies hair sitting in the booth behind them. Or you might see a father who is on high stress, terror alert level “Red” and just not sure what to do with little Susie who won’t quit screaming at the top of her lungs because she wants French fries with her meal, not waffle fries. Just watch for a little while as they struggle to get through the meal. “Mom, he touched me. Dad, can I have another soda?” Of course the first round of soda has the child jumping on the seats and falling into the waiter passing by with a tray of drinks. But no matter, the parents have yet to connect the sugar in the soda with their child’s hyper-activity. Maybe they should add that to the manual.
The parents are completely exasperated, their faces are red, their jaws are clinched tight. They are just about to explode. Then it happens, the waiter comes by to see if they need anything. Their faces whip around to see the waiter, hoping they weren’t just in the middle of verbally abusing one of their children for fear of what the waiter might think. Their jaws immediately release as they force a smile. “Everything is great. We’re good to go. Thanks.” As soon as the waiter/waitress is gone, they whip back around to their children, jaws tightly clinched once again.
This scene plays out all the time. It’s the previous scene that rarely happens.
So let me ask (knowing full well I have already asked myself), when was the last time you and your family just had a good time? No stress, no worries about the spilled milk, not being uptight because your kid is acting like, well, a kid. When was the last time your family was caught, just having fun?