Thursday June 27th 2013, 10:58 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Life

The Washington Post ran an obituary on my friend Steve.

I did not know that muscle spasms from his disease had kept him from mastering Braille. One more thing for him. But I love how his can-do personality comes out in their article.

Richard and I went out to dinner tonight at Flea Street Cafe, as we try to on this day every year, and at one point a little boy showed up at my elbow. He had carefully rehearsed (or been rehearsed with) his word-by-hesitant-word speech.

“Thank  you  ve ry  much  for  the  gift” (and he couldn’t resist adding) “mayIkeepit?”

“Sure,” I smiled, “happy birthday!” And to his little brother too.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen small children at the very proper Flea Street before, and when the family had come in I’d glanced around to gauge the reactions and had seen fleeting glances of oh, this isn’t… But only briefly. So I imagine the other diners were parents too, knowing full well that children instantly know the emotional score in the room. Besides, they were adorable.

They were offered seats at the larger table right behind me. And all was well.

But at one point the–grandpa?–took the boys outside to run off a little steam while they were waiting for their order. Makes sense. I said quietly to Richard, who was facing them, If they need them, let me know. He knew exactly what I meant.

They were cheerful when they came back in, but at one point it seemed to me a good time to, so I turned and asked the mom if they might like a bit of distraction?

They were thrilled with the fingerpuppets. There was an exclamation of “OH!” from the mom as she looked a little more closely and I imagine saw that they were handknit. The little boys sounded so cute, and we went back to our fine celebration of the day.

We had had rather early reservations, and so we finished before they, and as we turned to go, the three adults at their table caught our eyes and thanked us, with feeling.

Hey, we remembered the days…

My one regret though is that I didn’t stop and make a point of thanking the little boys for being so delightful–I confess I was being a little too mindful of the adults waiting by the front door for our table and I missed the moment.

I like to picture two little fingerpuppeted hands waving hi over their dessert at whoever came next.

Happy Anniversary, Honey. Thank you!

6 Comments so far
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Happy anniversary! I must say that you have inspired me to compliment well behaved children and their parents when I dine at a restaurant. I love the glowing faces when they realize what I’ve said to them. It doesn’t take much effort and it feels so good!

Comment by Jody 06.28.13 @ 6:12 am

happy anniversary! (ours was last Thursday, my sister’s is today!)

and once again you made a happy memory for a family with small children — how cool!

Comment by bev 06.28.13 @ 7:35 am

Ah, the finger puppet lady strikes again! I’m sure you never fail to make a positive impression. And what a glorious way to spend your anniversary! Congrats!

Comment by Donald Meyer 06.28.13 @ 8:29 am

Happy Anniversary! Wilson and I celebrate our 33rd at the end of August. I wonder what he’d think if I told him we should include finger puppets in the celebration. 😉

Comment by twinsetellen 06.28.13 @ 1:17 pm

Happy anniversary to you two, too! We celebrated 32 last night with excellent Thai food. And I really need to order some finger puppets.

Comment by DebbieR 06.28.13 @ 2:04 pm

Happy anniversary and thank you for being such a wonderful neighbor, even in a very nice restaurant when your “neighbors” are only next door for a very brief while.

Comment by Channon 06.28.13 @ 4:52 pm

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