For the first time since February, we brought our children into a restaurant. While navigating the bumpy and pitted road that has been parenting during a worldwide pandemic thus far, D and I have gone out of our way not to bring our children into public places.
The weekend before last was their first time in a public park, the kind with recreational equipment, not just walking paths, since last Fall.
While we know and understand that our world is by no means “out of the woods” just yet, every once in a while, you have to do what is best for your family and embrace life.
Following work yesterday afternoon, I picked up the kids and then went home to grab D. Once Lee noticed we were headed back towards town, he asked where we were going. He was unable to contain his excitement when he heard the news. “We’re gonna eat inside, Dad?” he kept asking D, just to be sure he heard correctly.
Once parked and walking towards the front door of the restaurant, D stopped and bent down to help Lee put his mask on. Like the mature and reasonable toddler he can sometimes be, he left it alone where his Dad had positioned it and marched through the door. Stopping only once to hold the door open for a group of cute college girls on their way out. That boy is a lady’s man, let me tell you.
Evie wasn’t quite sure what to think as we walked towards our booth. Once I put her down to settle into booth between myself and the wall she started clapping and giggling. And once the waiter came over and set down our chips and salsa, all bets were off. They knew what was about to go down. Lee pulled his mask down and thanked him, which prompted Evie to thank him as well.
With both of them stuffing chips into their mouths as quickly as they could, D and I hashed out what to order everyone. Lee had a crunchy taco with a side of french fries and Evie had her very own cheese quesadilla.
Every person who walked by our booth was greeted with a “Hello there” from Lee, leaning as far across D as he could manage, accompanied by a frenzied wave. Which would prompt Evie, leaning as far across me as she could manage, not to be outdone by her brother, to follow suit.
And our poor waiter.. every single time he came to the table, both babies practically yelled “thank you” at him. Even his mask couldn’t hide his chuckling at them.
They were so excited, so polite, and so unbelievably well behaved that I truly almost didn’t recognize them. It was a night well spent and a dinner date I’ll cherish.