(Photo credit: kbowenwriter via Flickr.com)
First, an announcement: As we say here in New England, I am wicked excited to share with you the news that I’ve been awarded an Artists Entrepreneurial Grant by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Part of what the grant will fund is a renovation of this blog, so if you see scaffolding going up in the coming weeks or months, that’s why. I’ll let you know if you need to wear a hardhat when you’re on site.
Second, a totally judgmental calling out and tip for parents in restaurants: If your children are a) standing at my table with one of their chins over my child’s head, as if to join my family; b) following patrons into the bathroom and harassing them; c) tripping the waitstaff in the aisles; d) chucking toys (or items from tables) over the ledge separating the brick oven area from the dining area; e) wandering into the entrance area and interfering with the ability of the hostess to greet customers such that waiters have to escort your child back to his table; and f) traveling from unoccupied table to unoccupied table throughout the restaurant, without regard to neighboring patrons, and running toy cars on said tables, playing games there, etc., while you do not once turn your head to check on your children nor reprimand them in any way, then you are not doing an adequate job of parenting your children during dinner.
Yes, as I said at the beginning, I understand I’m being judgmental here. But honestly, I couldn’t believe my eyes. When I see behavior in this vein, I try to remind myself, even if I’m annoyed, that perhaps I don’t know the whole story. Maybe there is a special need I don’t know about, or perhaps the parents have had a terrible week due to a situation I can’t even imagine and this is their one, much needed break. But I found it hard to invent excuses for this complete disregard of everyone else in the restaurant.
Okay, enough time on my high horse. Moving on…
Books. Two nights ago, when eleven-year-old “Jack” and I finished reading The Hobbit, I realized with dismay that I had no book lying in wait for the following evening. Jack is selective about what he’ll read, so I knew I had a bit of work in front of me to find something acceptable if we were going to start a new book right away. (My own recommendation is not sufficient to sell a book to Jack; in fact, it often has the opposite effect. How old is he again?)
I asked Jack what qualities he’d like in our next book.
“Adventure. Suspense.” (more…)