I was thinking about one time when our kids were young, we went on a cross country trip. There was this one particularly long stretch of road on a very sunny day. It was a two lane road and in the distance we could see the freeway and what looked like a little town. As we got closer we saw a gas station and restaurant, pretty big place and most welcoming. We went inside ordered water and pie and then went to the restroom to wash up and refresh after the long drive. We went back to our seat and ate our pie and then ordered our meal. All the while there was this lady across from us in another booth that kept looking over at us. When the meal was nearly done, one of the kids had to use the restroom again. We headed there and this woman also headed that way. When we washed our hands the woman kept acting like she wanted to say something and finally she did. I thought, oh boy, here it comes, she is going to talk about what misbehaved kids we have and so on, but No. Surprisingly she said, My mother would never give us desert first, but you did and your kids ate it and then they ate all their dinner. I am so impressed and what well behaved kids they are too.
Well, that isn’t what I was expecting at all!
Another time when we went to a restaurant on a different family trip, there was hardly anyone in the restaurant, and we asked for a separate table for the kids. The wait staff looked horrified and said we can’t do that, and we said, it is okay they are well behaved and we do it whenever we go out to eat. They said they had to ask the manager and the manager told them that they would do it, but if the kids caused problems or misbehaved, we would have to all sit at one table. hmm, we thought, what kind of kids do they usually get here?.
The kids sat at their own table, next to ours of course, and when it came time to order their food, the waiter kept asking us if it was okay they ordered this item or that item and my husband finally said to let them order what they want, it is okay, they know that if they order it and don’t eat it, they have to pay for it and next time we order for them. He said okay. They got their food, wait staff kept looking around the corners and watching them. We weren’t concerned, we knew our kids and their behavior. When we were all done, a few of the wait staff came over and complimented us on the kids and how surprised they were that the kids did so well at their own table. The next vacation we took and stopped by this same restaurant, we weren’t even questioned when asking for two tables.
My husband and I always try to repay the kindness and compliment parents when their kids have behaved well in restaurants or other such busy public places.
Why am I telling this here, on a genealogy blog? It is important to share stories with your family, even if it is to remind the kids, grandkids, or nieces and nephews about their childhood. Then ask them what they remember about that time. It also gives me a chance to write it down- for them- for later.
(Thank you to J.R.Watkins at https://www.jrwatkins.com/ for the use of the photos)