I did not write a post in time for Ben and Karina’s 6th birthday. Choose your favorite from the excuses below:
1) If you are planning to have a baby, or especially if you are planning to have more than one at a time, you may want to NOT have said babies during what will later become their first week of school. #hectic
2) As children age, the writerly mom’s task gets harder and harder. What is fair to post, and what is private? Why are they so much more complicated and difficult to define and illustrate than when they were three-year-olds? Why must they insist on all that continual growing and changing nonsense?
In light of this second difficulty, I think I will do what I did for Riya’s birthday: tell one story that shows a little of what they are like these days.
It begins, as all the best stories do, with Fuddrucker’s. There used to be one about a block from our house, but it closed. I thought they’d gone out of business altogether, but apparently not.
We’d taken the kids there a couple of times because it was so convenient, but for Robin and me the convenience was really the primary factor. There are other places to get a burger, you know? When we noticed that it was closed, however, Riya cried. She actually cried, because apparently Fuddrucker’s was her most favorite restaurant ever and there would never be another burger that she would like as well as the Fuddrucker’s burger.
Now, I’m not sure who came up with it*, but several months ago Karina and Ben started talking about how when they grow up, they are going to open a new Fuddrucker’s right where the old one was so that Riya will not have to live her whole life without her most favorite etc etc. (First person to bring up the legal issues to them is gonna get it. Got it?) Karina is going to have to fit her restaurateur work in around her time as a dancer, but Ben seems willing enough to pick up the slack.
This will not be your average Fuddrucker’s. It will have many different levels, and last I heard each level will serve a different type of cuisine. It may even be magic – or at least highly technologically advanced – such that each customer would get a dining experience exactly catered to their exact whims. There is plenty of time to work out the details.
At first, the plan only specifically granted free food to Riya, but I protested and won the concession that Robin and I might also eat gratis. The next time they brought it up, it had apparently occurred to them that there are a number of people they like, and that they would find it awkward to charge those people to eat at their restaurant. As things stand now, then, there is a new challenge to be addressed: that of how they are ever going to make any money. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and casual acquaintances that are nice are, I believe, all inside the privileged circle, so we will have to hope that a) we will stop meeting people we like, and b) that all those strangers/enemies will want to eat at the World’s Most Awesome Fuddrucker’s and therefore to subsidize the rest of us.
Watch this space for news of the Grand Opening!
And happy, happy belated birthday to my two creative, entrepreneurial, generous
little big six-year-olds!
*Could’ve been either of them. Karina absolutely cannot bear for anyone to be upset; she will gladly corroborate any story Riya or Ben tells us about their misfortunes (except if she is the other party to the hurtful event – she has her limits), even if she can’t possibly have been there to see what happened. However, Ben has a self-sacrificing streak (again, with limits). He once had some spending money, but couldn’t find anything he wanted at Target when we took the kids shopping to spend it. Karina’s choice cost more than she could afford – a circumstance we were hoping to use as a learning experience – so Ben stepped in and offered to give her the rest. New lesson, kids! Generosity is great and important, but not when I am trying to teach your sister about limited resources!